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8. Functional & Beautiful Kathleen Hennen


23. Dr. Wendy Taber, D.D.S. 24. Unleashed: A Winery Nicole Erickson 26. Distilled to Explore


34. The Village Shop 36. S.N.O.W BUS

business 18. Abby Hornacek I want her job 38. Creating a Successful newsletter Campaign

community 20. Glacier Skate Academy 30. Free the Seeds


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46. Changed Lives Reflections of a Foster/Adoptive Mom



14. Carla Brook Riverbend Heatlh and Medical Spa 28. Standing Tall 42. Balance Between Effort and Ease 44. Dr. John Lavin 49. SMILE MONTANA Dr. John F. Miller


View current and past issues of 406 Woman at

w w w . 4 0 6 W o m a n . c o m Published by Skirts Publishing six times a year 704 C East 13th St. #138 Whitefish, MT 59937 info@406woman.com Copyright©2020 Skirts Publishing



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&Beautiful By Brenda Ahearn Photos by Amanda Wilson Photography

Kathleen Hennen is engaged in and committed to building something that lasts. What started with making large, heavy hardwood tables for her own home has grown into selling a curated collection of clothing, gifts and handmade furnishings in her downtown store, Bigfork Design Apparel and Fine Goods, on Electric Avenue. “I love working with wood,” said Hennen. “We moved here three years ago, from Scottsdale, Arizona and I began making furniture for our home. But once you fill up your own house you have to start selling some of it.” With that motivation, the foundation for the boutique was laid.

Mahogany, Purple Heart, Walnut, White Oak and Curly Maple are some of Hennen’s favorite woods to create with. She’s used these to make her farmhouse style tables and benches, as well as the beautiful charcuterie planks in her store. “I like substantial pieces,” she said. “A farmhouse style table is an heirloom piece. It is sturdy, durable, and can always be refinished, making it a piece that can stay with a family for generations.”

"People come in my shop and consistently comment that everything is so touchable and tangible, appealing to both eyes and hands. I believe in handmade. I want to make pieces that are timeless, something that you’ll have forever."

This mentality goes into every piece Hennen makes, but it also goes into what she chooses for her shop. “I won’t sell anything I wouldn’t have in my own home.”


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Outside her house there is a separate woodshop where she and coowner Rob Taynton make their furniture. Currently, there are four newly finished wardrobe boxes set apart and ready to be moved to the store downtown. Beautiful as they are, the rich dark wood boxes will barely get noticed once inside the store and filled with clothes. There are already six of these in the store, but Hennen is finding that


Bigfork Design

I believe in handmade. I want to make pieces that are timeless, something that you’ll have forever." the clothing side of her boutique is really taking off. Next month she’ll be heading to Manhattan to attend Coterie, a women’s apparel event that connects designers and retailers.

“I’m looking for unique items that no one else in the Flathead has,” Hennen said. “I want pieces that are more classic than trendy — things a person would buy and wear season after season — as well as clothing made from natural fibers like linen, cashmere, and cotton.” Hennen is tall, slim and lithe. With her dark hair and deep brown eyes she seems as sylvan as the woods she loves to work with.

"I went to college for fashion merchandising. I think all of my life I’ve been drawn to apparel and fashion, but I’ve never been on the crazy-couture-cutting-edge. I’ve always been the girl who wants to look clean and classic and timeless. I love clothes, but specifically, clothes that fit well. If they fit well, then you feel good wearing them and you feel more confident."

Hennen is finding that the fashions she stocks have appeal across the board. She’s selling the same basic T-shirt to 24-year-olds and 80-yearolds because it is a great layering piece. In describing the style she’s drawn to buying and selling she made note of the way French women dress. They purchase quality over quantity, choosing items that work together and that are designed to last.



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Bigfork Design

"I want to help customers find a piece that they love and want to bring into their home or wardrobe, something that will make them smile every time they see it. I won’t bring something in just because of the price point." “I think there comes a point in most of our lives where we don’t actually need anything. So, maybe it’s not about need. Maybe it’s more about what you love and what makes you happy. From that starting point, you build your collection of things that make you happy, both for your home and your body.” She is also building deliberately small collections. Hennen won’t buy a dozen items just because it is popular and will likely sell. In a small town, she wants the women who buy her clothing to know they have something they can wear over and over without seeing everyone wearing exactly the same thing.

Hennen is creating a lifestyle. "I want to help customers find a piece that they love and want to bring into their home or wardrobe, something that will make them smile every time they see it,” she said. "I only bring merchandise into the store that I would have in my own home or that I would personally wear. I won’t bring something in just because of the price point."


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She is also creating a place to wander. Hennen has a deep love of the local brick and mortar shops. For her, they represent an essential element of connection that is missing in so many aspects of life today. A local shop helps connect the community. It gives clients the chance to gain firsthand experience of the items they are considering adding to their lives, to see and touch and examine and contemplate. "Stop buying useless things that you are just going to throw or give away. If you don’t love it, don’t buy it,” said Hennen. She wants people to feel welcome to come in and peruse, not to feel that they have to be defensive about the fact that they are not buying, just looking. She will smile and enjoy chatting with the wanderers as well as the shoppers.

"I hope that people look beyond the first price tag they see,” she said. “Yes, there are some luxury items, but there are also some that are very reasonably priced. There are pieces that are a financial stretch, but they are designed to last. We’ve all done it, bought something that we ’needed’ for one event and hated it and never wore it again. Wouldn’t it be better

to purchase something that you truly love and that you choose to keep as part of your wardrobe for years?"

"Most everything in my store isfunctional as well as beautiful. That’s the criterion. I tend to steer clear of trinkets and knickknacks,” said Hennen. And every season the store is changing. This spring she and Taynton will be renovating the storefront, creating something that looks more like a traditional boutique with better signage and window-appeal. And she’ll continue making her trips to New York, Dallas and Las Vegas deciding what to carry and how often to change things up for the different clients she meets at different times of year.

“This community has been so welcoming to us,” said Hennon. “Again and again we’re hearing things like, ‘We love that you’re here and we want you to do well.’ Bigfork has been so supportive, they’ve given us more than loyalty, this place has truly become our home." Bigfork Design 406-752-3260 565 Electric Avenue, Bigfork, MT 59911


Carla Brook

Riverbend Health and Medical Spa Photos by Amanda Wilson Photography

In the top drawer of my dresser is a book that has my pictures from 1st grade through 12. Just below the pictures it asks what my favorite things are, my hobbies, and what I want to be when I grow up. Below my second grade picture it says “I want to be a Nurse.” At that time my conception of a nurse was someone who wore a white hat, white dress and white shoes. They were there to help people. Of course they were also the one who gave you shots. Little did I know at that time that I would become a nurse and where that journey would take me. I became a nurse at the age of 30. I was living on a ranch in Central Montana with my husband and 4 children. I had started as an EMT in the 1980’s and then became a CNA in Obstetrics for 3 years. I knew I wanted to do more in the medical field but living in the middle of nowhere I had no way of going away to school. I decided at that time to try on-line schooling, which was virtually unheard of at that time but I was able to make it through the program and get my Associates Degree. I tried to work at the local hospitals but my passion was for Emergency Medicine. I knew if I was going to advance in my career I would have to obtain more education and travel away from home. I started as a traveling nurse and traveled to many places throughout Montana. Rural nursing is like trial by fire. You are expected to go into a facility and be the jack-of-all-trades. Run the nursing home, pass the medications, manage the patient’s in Acute care and of course take care of anything that came through the Emergency Room. There were times that there was not a full time pharmacist and you were expected to manage the pharmacy , mix your own IV’s and so on. The doctors on staff are sometimes in house but usually about 20-30 minutes away so in an Emergency situation, it is you. Because of this it has made me into the practitioner I am today. I am grateful.


I did go on to obtain my Bachelor’s in Nursing and worked in bigger hospitals, working the ICU and 14 406


Emergency room. Again, trial by fire because not only is it cut throat among nurses as to who is working in these departments but a busy emergency room, night shift and traveling can be demanding. I would have not made it through this if there had not been wonderful nurses and doctors that were patient with me and taught me so much about medicine. And of course my husband who managed the household when I was traveling and away from home.

if the tumor would grow and encouraged me to seek treatment in Alternative medicine doing High dose Vitamin C. I came home to Montana and treated with a doctor in Whitefish. The tumor did decrease in size. I changed my diet, fixed my hormones and underlying nutritional deficiencies and have been healthy for 9 years now. Because of this, I now practice Functional medicine and have a certification in Advanced IV therapies for Oncology.

I decided in 2006 to become a Nurse Practitioner. My first job was in Browning in the Urgent Care. I truly thought I was going to save the world. I quickly learned that lack or resources and socialized medicine was not going to afford me the luxury of doing this. I had worked as a traveling nurse on many of the reservations in Montana and have loved every minute of it. Learning a new culture and trying to make a difference has also made me in to the person and practitioner I am today. I did return to Browning for a year to work in the Emergency Department. The doctors were exceptional and the lessons I learned from them were invaluable.

I opened my own practice in 2010 because I wanted to have a clinic where people could come to have other options such as addressing nutrition and vitamin deficiencies, hormone imbalance and learning to take care of themselves in this toxic world of junk food, EMF’s and chemicals. I specialize in Mold/Biotoxin illness, which has led me to testifying as an expert witness for people who have suffered from toxic mold exposure. Our treatment for autoimmune diseases works very well. It is not easy and it takes time to work through the protocol but those who do it have found significant improvement in their health. We don’t place band-aids on the issues, we find out what the deficiencies are and give the body what it needs to repair the immune system, which in turn helps to repair the body.

My nursing career took a huge turn in 2010 when I was diagnosed with Renal Cell Carcinoma. My Dad had passed away in 2006 from Renal Cell. Needless to say it was devastating. I knew that I did not want to take the path through the medical system that my Dad had, so I sought the advice of doctors from my Dad’s doctors at Virginia Mason in Seattle. Thankfully they advised me to keep my kidney, watch and wait to see

I realize there are many other practitioners that are helping people in this field and have loved collaborating with them to help people get their lives back. I continue to speak out for a change as the treatments we do have been around for centuries and

Carla Brook, Elise Bennet Reum, Staci Yearsley, Wendy Phelps

have peer reviewed journals and research to back them up despite what people may think. Recently I added to my practice Stem cell therapy. We use Mesenchymal cells, Wharton’s Jelly, Exosomes and Amniotic Stem cells. We partner with other physicians in the Stem Cell field to provide a comprehensive plan of care for patients and use products that come from labs that are FDA approved for practicing “good medicine process.” This is cutting edge medicine and the results are proving to be very favorable. Of course with anything in medicine the outcome depends on the individual and the environment in which the Stem cells are placed . My office strives to provide a full comprehensive consult, research and peer reviewed journals and a full plan of care to those that are interested before they decide to treat. This is also good medicine practice. So far on this 20 year journey of being a nurse, it has been challenging to say the least. I am grateful to the doctors and the nurses who have supported me on this journey. I also have a wonderful staff: Staci, Elise, Ali and Wendy who provide me with never ending support and make our practice what it is today. No one is an island and surrounding yourself with great mentors and people no matter what journey you are on is so important.

I look forward to writing future articles and sharing with the readers about what is happening in the Alternative Medicine world. It is exciting and provides other options for people in their journey to health. 306 Stoner Loop Rd #9 Lakeside, Montana 59922 406-407-9245

Therapies we do at Riverbend Health and Medical Spa Advanced Biological Therapies Exosomes - Wharton’s Jelly Mesenchymal cells Advanced IV therapies Oncology - Anti-aging and nutritional IV therapy B12 and Skinny Shots Prolozone therapy l Phototherapy l Platelet Rich Plasma therapy Asthetics Ozone - Collagen Induction therapy - Platelet Rich Plasma facials and hair restoration - Stem cell facials and hair restoration Specialty Lab testing Nutritional counseling - Gut healing - Heavy metal detox - Mold Biotoxin illness and Lyme disease Bioidentical Hormone therapy Hormone pellets Peptide therapy Therapeutic Massage therapy Lymph drainage Restorative Breast Therapy


I Want Her Job FOX Nation’s

Abby Hornacek By Brianne Perleberg This article originally appeared on IWantHerJob.com. Photo courtesy of FOX

When Abby Hornacek was growing up she dreamed of becoming a marine biologist. Working as a host on TV was something she never considered as a career path until she was much older. “I was extremely shy growing up,” Abby says. “… I played sports from a young age and through college. One day I started thinking, ‘If I’m not going to play sports for a living after I graduate college, then why not talk about sports for a living?’” With this thought, Abby began her broadcast career while still in college. She interned at FOX Sports 1, worked as a feature reporter for FOX Sports West and NBA Summer League, and was a host and sideline reporter for Drone Racing League and World Arm Wrestling League on ESPN, and host of a show called San Diego Prep Insiders for a couple of years on FOX Sports San Diego. After graduating from the University of Southern California, Abby took a job with 120 Sports (now called Stadium) as host of their live shows.

Now Abby is FOX Nation’s travel and lifestyle host. You can see her on PARK’D with Abby Hornacek, American Arenas and The Ride to Work Series. Last November she also hosted the red carpet for the first-ever FOX Nation Patriot Awards.


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With such a thrilling career, this self-proclaimed “adrenaline junkie” has brought fun and exciting content across FOX Nation. Abby credits her mom and dad for helping her follow her dream job. “My parents were influential in encouraging me to step out of my comfort zone and embrace the challenge of doing something I was passionate about, even if it made me uncomfortable.”

What is it like to work at FOX?

It’s a dream come true. I’m constantly surrounded by some of the most genuine and intelligent people I’ve had the pleasure of working with. My days are filled with engaging conversations with coworkers who are inquisitive, caring and a joy to be around. The opportunities FOX has given me are all passions of mine that enrich my love of nature, travel, and sports. I’m very blessed!

What is your favorite part of hosting Park’d With Abby Hornacek, American Arenas and The Ride to Work Series?

My favorite part of hosting these shows is that it never feels like work. Sometimes I’ll wake up and walk outside while I’m at a National Park just to take in the serenity. Every time I say out loud, “Abby, count your blessings because this is your job.” I feel that gratitude for every one of my shows because they cover topics I’m interested in. I have the luxury of working with incredible personalities, while also being able to showcase my own.

What are some of your most memorable assignments covering travel and lifestyle?

There are so many! One of my most memorable moments was traveling to Zion National Park. I lived in Utah for 10 years and I felt like I was, in a sense, returning home. The sheer verticality


Abby Hornacek

of the sandstone cliffs that define this National Park is just one of the many reasons Zion sticks out. I was able to mountain bike (I’m embarrassed to say I wiped out…made for good TV though!) repel, canyoneer, hike, you name it!

Covering the UT-OU game (aka the Red River Showdown) at the Cotton Bowl for American Arenas also stands out. The energy you can feel from the crowd, mixed with the excitement of the State Fair of Texas, is unmatched.

What is something surprising that you think the average person might not realize about your job?

Each show involves a lot more “go-with-the-flow” than you would think. While we do have a loose plan, many times, we’ll think of more ideas on the fly. I try not to memorize anything, but I’ll do a lot of research prior to a show.

Your dad, Jeff Hornacek, is a household name in basketball. What did you learn from him about pursuing goals that you bring into your job today?

My dad is the hardest-working person I know. My mom told me that while he was in college, when the other players were going home to play Atari, my dad was going to the gym to practice. When he was a coach, he would come home after games and re-watch them while taking notes until 3 or 4 a.m. Hearing those stories and witnessing his work ethic is something I learned to apply when pursuing my own goals. My mom always told us growing up, “You are completely capable of achieving any dream you have. If you don’t have the tools, go get the tools.” My dad showed exactly what it takes to get those tools.

What is a goal you are looking to achieve next?

I want to start my own charity! I feel so fulfilled in my job with the opportunities I’ve been able to pursue. I really want to start working with young girls to achieve their goals or help make life easier for people with disabilities. I’m also writing a book! It’s in its very early stages, but I’m enjoying that process.

What advice do you have for others interested in pursuing an on-air reporting career?

I think the biggest goal for anyone pursuing an on-air reporting career is to always remain authentically yourself and know your information. As long as you’re basing an opinion or report on facts and presenting it in a way you would to your friends or family, then people will be drawn to both the information and you as a personality. -By Brianne Perleberg

This article originally appeared on IWantHerJob.com. Brianne Perleberg, a born-andraised Montanan, is the founder of I Want Her Job, an award-winning website featuring curated career conversations with women changing the future of business. She also is the co-founder of I Want Her Job: The Podcast, a Top 100 Careers podcast on iTunes. You can follow @iwantherjob on Instagram.



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Glacier Skate Academy Giving back to the community on and off the ice By Jill Jones

A couple of years ago, in an effort to introduce my girls to a winter sport I thought they might enjoy, I took my girls (4 years and 6 years) to ice-skate at the Stumptown Ice Den in Whitefish. It had been at least 15 years since I had tied on a pair of skates, but I was fairly certain I would impress my children with my ability to not fall and maybe even dazzle them with my “skate backwards via the half-turn” I perfected as a 15-year-old. After we were suited up (helmet and all), one of the workers offered a glider assist bar for my 4-year-old (basically a walker for the ice). I’ll just say that the glider got a lot of use that day but my 4 year old barely touched it. By the time we left the ice,


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my kids were skating and spinning like they were born to it, and I had serious concerns my back would never recover after hours spent hunched over an ice glider meant for a toddler. For the record, I was later informed they have taller gliders for adults. This was also when I first learned of Glacier Skate Academy and their Learn-to-Skate Program. Glacier Skate Academy hosts Montana’s only year-round ice skating instruction and training programs for both competitive and recreational figure skaters along with power skating for hockey players. They also offer weekly Learn-to-Skate USA classes during the school year as well as summer camps.

"Our mission is to foster a lifelong love of ice skating and to impact our community with fun, healthy, active, competitive and affordable programs while motivating each skater, no matter what level or age, to achieve their goals." Glacier Skate Academy

I spoke with David Boye ( GSA board member and father of a GSA competitive figure skater),

about the program and its impact in the community. In addition to providing opportunities to anyone interested in learning to skate and compete, including scholarships, Glacier Skate Academy spearheads “Tires for a Change.” David Boye owner of Black Diamond Mortgage in Whitefish

Most of us are aware of the lifelong impact sports can play in our children’s lives. Many of us have experienced it firsthand. It’s not the wins or losses that help to shape us. It is the character that is built through hard work and self-discipline, as well as the confidence gained when all that dedication and effort begins to bear fruit. And perhaps just as impactful are those parents, teammates, and coaches who are there beside us, supporting and encouraging us along the way.

“Tires for a Change” began in the Fall of 2018 when David felt called to meet a need in the community. David currently owns Black Diamond Mortgage in Whitefish, but in 1996 he worked at a tire store. Every Montanan knows


Steve Postovit of M&C Tire, Brigetta Schwaiger of Glacier Restaurant Group, Carrie Johnson (Tire Recipient)

Point S Tires

Gregg Knuffke ot Tamarack Insurance, Kayla McMahon (Tire Recipient) Les Schwab Tires the importance of good winter tires. We see it every year when that first snow hits; those of us with our summer tires on look like Bambi on ice. And usually there is a rush to the tire shop and long lines because we know we have a responsibility to those in our vehicle and our neighbors on the road to be properly equipped for the driving conditions. But there are many who do not own and are not in a position to buy good, safe, reliable tires. And that is where “Tires for a Change” comes in. David’s background with the tire store and his current mortgage work, helped shed light on a need to help those who may be need a little support and encouragement from our community. David presented the idea to Glacier Skate Academy and they took on the challenge. And so began “Tires for a Change.” In 2018,

with the support of several local businesses, Glacier Skate Academy’s “Tires for a Change” gave away 30 sets of new tires to families, couples, and individuals in our community who applied to be “Champions on Ice.” In 2019, they set a goal of 30 sets of tires to 30 families in 30 days. Thanks to the ongoing and new donations from local businesses they were able to surpass their goal and give away 35 sets of winter tires this past Fall. I say it often and I’ll say it again, the community support and involvement that we see from local organizations and businesses here in the Flathead is what makes this Valley so very special. Organizations like Glacier Skate Academy who look beyond their doors to the needs of the people around them are not uncommon here but they are certainly much appreciated.



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Leaving a Legacy profile}

Dr.Wendy Taber, D.D.S. Photos by Amanda Wilson Photography

Having served as the Dental Program Director at the Flathead Community Health Center for four years, I decided I wanted to grow and develop professionally. I learned about dentists providing oral appliance therapy to alleviate sleep disordered breathing issues, and I have been working towards learning more about this ever since to better serve my patients. After I welcomed my son, Arthur, in 2018 and realized how much I had been taking sleep for granted over the years, I knew I wanted to help alleviate chronic sleep fatigue in patients that suffer from sleep apnea or other airway disorders. My goal has always been to improve health outcomes in my patients, and even though I knew I wanted to be able to provide more services for patients in Flathead Valley, it was hard for me to imagine a transitioning into private practice… until I met Dr. Teré Nelson. We met at a Project Homeless Connect volunteer event in 2016, and after meeting her I have been bugging her ever since to join her team.

Last February, she invited me to join her practice, and needless to say, I jumped at the opportunity. I knew this was the dental practice I wanted to be a part of because the difference really is in the details at Dental Distinctions. Dr Teré’s passion for dentistry and compassion for her patients is truly unmatched. As an early pioneer in Montana in dental sleep medicine, she focuses on whole body health of her patients instead of just “drilling and filling.” It is inspiring to see how much effort Dr. Teré puts in behind the scenes for her patients. She is always striving to learn more and constantly is continuing her education and consulting with the dental and medical specialists in the area to assure her patients are receiving the best care. She hosts the Glacier Interdisciplinary Study Club collaborating with other dentists in the area to assure our community has the opportunity to receive exceptional care. She is the most fundamentally honest and thoughtful person I know, especially with her patients. Her wisdom, clarity, and insights as a dental provider and mentor are absolutely brilliant. I am so honored I have the opportunity to be a small part of the legacy she has built over the last 25 years while practicing outstanding dentistry in the Flathead Valley. At Dental Distinctions we want our patients to know oral health is integral to overall health and we want you to feel as good as we can make you look with our restorative dental techniques. We hope you have the opportunity to come meet our innovative and dynamic all- female team at Dental Distinctions.


Dental Distinctions (406) 755-4166 50 Village Loop, Kalispell www.montanafamilydental.com


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Wine-ing around Whitefish By Sydney Munteanu Photos by Amanda Wilson Photography

Nicole Erickson fell in love with wine the way many of us do: by traveling, exploring new cultures, and enjoying life. Her father was also a big influence… His cellar collection and excitement taught her from an early age the nuances of wine tasting and how to enjoy it with good company. Loving working with animals, Nicole was decidedly on the path to become a veterinarian and set out to spend the better part of a decade working with dogs and practicing animal therapy. But it was at the end of the day, when she would always look forward to enjoying meeting friends for a glass of wine, that sparked her curiosity. Nicole couldn’t ignore her growing passion and started mentoring with experts in the industry with the hopes of one day finally opening her own winery. She also could not ignore the calling to return to her Montana roots. After spending 10 years in Colorado, this Helena-native packed up her bags to head home and start a new venture

in the winemaking business. Diving into construction in order to open up shop in downtown Whitefish, Nicole hired an assistant winemaker to help with production and finally opened the doors to Unleashed: A Winery at the beginning of this year.

As a purposeful entreprenuer and businesswoman, Nicole’s love for hospitality and knack for creating an inviting space shows the minute you walk into the tasting room. And the wine? It’s easy-drinking, approachable, and delightfully fun to explore through tastings -- they offer pours of 3, 4, or 5 to try. With over a dozen different varieties, she hopes to offer something for everyone to enjoy. Nicole points out that, “Exploring is part of the fun!” Unleashed: A Winery is just that, a full-production winery and tasting room. But at the base of a ski hill, you might wonder how that might be possible? Given that Montana isn’t the friendliest climates for grape-growing, Nicole sources her fruit from wine regions in Central California and then ferments, bottles, and labels everything in her Whitefish winery. (You can even view all wine in-the-making through glass windows in the tasting room!)


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“My goal was to create an experience that welcomes people from every walk of life. To create a comfortable environment to enjoy all the social aspects of wine that bring us together,” Nicole describes. Certainly that seems to be the case as Nicole and her team have been planning to host themed events, workshops, and monthly fundraisers to connect with the community.



So what about that love of dogs? Taking the winery’s name “Unleashed” aside, it’s apparent the pups aren’t going anywhere soon once you’ve gotten a glimpse at the wine labels. From “Good Catch Pinot Grigio'' to “Red Rover Cabernet Sauvignon'', each wine’s name is dogcentric and unapologetically cute. Nicole even worked with a multimedia artist to ensure Montana-inspired scenery was incorporated into the artwork for all of her labels. Unleashed: A Winery is a winery, tasting room, and community gathering space open 7 days a week in downtown Whitefish. They currently offer red, white, and flavor-infused wines to enjoy by the glass or by the bottle along with a curated food menu of seasonal cheese, charcuterie, and chocolate pairings from local Montana purveyors. For more information, visit unleashedwinery.com



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Distilled to Explore

A look inside Montana's craft cocktail bars supporting locally distilled spirits By Kristen Hook

The view from the summit of Big Mountain on a clear day invites you to take in the warmth of the mountain town below, Whitefish, Montana. It is there where restaurateur, Pat Carloss has two successful dinner restaurants that were conceptualized in different millenniums. With his wife Missy by his side, on July 20 1995, they opened their first restaurant - what is now one of the busiest fine dining restaurants in town, Tupelo Grille. I know what you’re thinking, shrimp and grits and jambalaya in Northwest Montana? Don’t miss out, this place emanates hospitality with its staff serving a combined 100 years working for Pat Carloss alone. As you go inside the front doors, you’re greeted by a long corridor of old brick and it’s evident that the owner of this establishment has an eye for art. There is soul in the fine details that Pat has created throughout the restaurant and bar. The building itself has gone through three major expansions, the most recent addition being the Lounge Bar in 2011. The lounge bar is a classy music space for local artists to come and share their tunes in low lighting with a fantastic assortment of craft cocktails right at your fingertips. You’ll be in awe as you sit down at the concrete slab bar top and glance up at the spirits selection wall. The bar staff are incredibly knowledgeable with spirits and wine - you’ll be certainly intrigued by their local spirits selection. Tupelo Grille is exceptional about supporting local businesses and their innovative cocktail program emphasizes Montana distilleries. One such distillery stands out among the rest - Whistling Andy Distilling from Bigfork Montana. This distillery and tasting room house


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Pat Carloss and Kristen Hook from Whistling Andy’s.

barrels of aging whiskey made from proprietary grains grown by local Montana Farmers. They source as much of their raw materials locally as they can and it shows in their award winning spirits. At Tupelo, you can find Whistling Andy Straight Bourbon on their Montana whiskey flight along with featured cocktails such as Smoking Daisies - Whistling Andy Cucumber Gin paired with Mezcal, honey and lime. Pat Carloss is a beer guy mostly, but he does enjoy an Old Fashioned from time to time. Make it local by substituting Whistling Andy Harvest Select Whiskey and taste the layered flavors of toasted caramel, warming spices and well rounded oak flavors. In your search for local spirits you can find Whistling Andy featured in cocktails at Pat and Missy’s other two restaurants and throughout the valley. If local spirits spark your interest and you’d like to learn more about the distillation process be sure

profile} to visit the distillery in Bigfork, MT. They’re located right at the head of Flathead Lake and are open for tastings and tours - for more information visit www.whistlingandy.com.

I was particularly excited to have time to talk with Pat about what Tupelo was like in the beginning and how he managed to stay motivated to continue to grow his brand. Pat recalls a time when the restaurant was just getting started, and he was the chef and his wife was the front house manager. He mentioned that “Missy played a huge part in setting the tone for hospitality and attentive service.” Tupelo Grille has a team of people that are dedicated to genuine and knowledgeable service and create an environment where their customers truly feel at home when they step into the restaurant. Their staff, some of which have worked for Pat and Missy for 15 plus years, adore the culture that they work in. One staff member mentioned “Pat and Missy are beautiful people and the crew is like family to me. We have a ton of fun and love our loyal customers!” With an eclectic mix of Louisiana creole to local Montana fare - Pat’s kitchen staff should be recognized for their outstanding meal creations and ability to deliver Pat’s family recipes cooked meal right here in Montana. Some of the recipes that are staples and are still cooked today - Zydeco Combo, Gumbo and Cajun Pasta. You can also find Elk Meatloaf and Duck and Waffle if you’re interested in locally inspired fare. Pat and Missy own Abruzzo Italian Kitchen in Whitefish and Gunsight Saloon in Columbia Falls, both extensions of their hard work and dedication to the hospitality industry in the valley. Be sure to enjoy classic italian dishes and more great music opportunities at their sister establishments!

There may be much deliberation on which run you take down from the summit Big Mountain to get to your dining experience at Tupelo Grille, but don’t hesitate when deciding on where to enjoy some sensational creole fare while in the heart of this snowy mountain town. And don’t forget to save room for the warm homemade bread pudding with rum butter - this classic is simply a must!



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Standing Tall By Dena Tomlinson

Joseph Castillo and his 10-month old niece, Mikaela, are both learning to walk. For Joseph, it is a re-learning—reminding his muscles to move and spine to support his lengthy 18-yearold body. Born with a lipomyelomeningocele, a condition where an abnormal growth of fat attaches to the spinal cord, his mobility had gradually declined over the past few years, ultimately confining him to a wheelchair during his junior year of high school. “My mom always taught us: You don’t have disabilities, you only have capabilities,” he explains. “And, that life is full of choices. No matter what, you have to choose which path to take and how to react to what you’re given. We choose to keep going. Our family chooses to always move forward and enjoy our lives.” Reading books telling of fantastical journeys, designing new toys for Mikaela, and playing videos games featuring agile avatars—hobbies he adopted to keep his mind active and occupied


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while the rest of his body sat in stillness. “Being in high school and a teenager is hard enough and then not being able to walk, it was an adjustment losing my independence,” explains Joseph. Health has always been a family affair for the Castillos. Joseph’s mom, Christine, as well as his sisters and father, travelled all over the state and beyond looking for solutions. With Helena as home, the Castillos were venturing as far as Denver just to visit pediatric specialists. “We had seen dozens of physicians—one even told us he believed Joseph was faking his symptoms,” says Christine. “Imagine, a boy not being able to walk and run and do activities with his friends being told by a doctor that he was just pretending. No one could tell us why this was happening to Joseph.” In May 2019, Joseph was referred to the Montana Children’s outreach clinic in Helena to see Kim Longcake, an ANP of pediatric gastroenterology, for some digestive problems that worsened since he lost his ability to walk. When Longcake evaluated Joseph and recognized the severity of his spinal issue, she consulted with Dr. Kelly

Schmidt, pediatric neurosurgeon with Montana Children’s Specialists Longcake coordinated admission for Joseph to Montana Children’s in Kalispell so he could undergo an extensive workup. This included imaging of his entire spine as well as an EGD and colonoscopy to evaluate his digestive issues. The spine imaging showed multiple congenital anomalies and a significant tethered spinal cord that could be contributing to Joseph’s digestive problems and almost certainly causing his gradual decline in mobility. “It was so great how these providers worked together to help us figure out the best road forward for Joseph,” Christine says. “And we were so thankful we could stay in Montana and just drive up to Montana Children’s to see Dr. Schmidt. Not a moment too soon either: As we were getting ready to go up to Kalispell, Joseph began losing feeling in his arms and having really bad headaches.” Once Dr. Schmidt assessed the imaging results, in addition to a tethered spinal cord from residual spinal cord lipoma, she identified several other abnormalities which were likely contributing to his clinical picture. Because


Standing Tall

“I refuse to say that I am ‘special needs,’” Joseph states. “I like to say I’m very special with needs. No one person is the same, we all have different needs, and that’s what makes us special. We’re all a gift to each other.” of Joseph’s symptoms and these findings, she felt surgery would be best in order to free the spinal cord from its attachment to the fat. In July of 2019, Joseph underwent this procedure at Montana Children's with successful results. Following surgery, Joseph was in less pain than before and standing tall, ready to walk again.

“Children born with a lipomyelomeningocele, often require multiple surgeries throughout childhood due to recurrent tethered cord symptoms that can worsen as they grow,” explains Dr. Schmidt. “Joseph’s case was unusual in that he had surgery as an infant, but never had surgery again until he was 18 and had been in a wheelchair for several years when previously he was walking.” Dr. Schmidt feels strongly that Joseph’s disrupted specialty care throughout his childhood— seeing multiple specialists out of state and in various different hospitals—prevented the severity of his condition from being recognized earlier. “Fortunately we now have Joseph and his family tied into multidisciplinary specialty care with Montana Children’s and he has a great prognosis,” she says.

Joseph’s condition is ongoing, but it is also continually improving. As his nerves awaken, adjusting to their new freedom, he is closely monitored by his Montana Children’s providers. “Even though Joseph was going to an out of state specialty clinic, there is wasn’t that personal care that he and his family needed,” explains Longcake. “Now, he’s not only able to continue his care within the state, but right here in his hometown of Helena. We have been able to truly coordinate multidisciplinary care for Joseph. Our outreach clinics help unify and advance the care for the pediatric patients in this state. I’m so proud of what we’ve built here with Montana Children’s and the positive impact we’re making with our outreach efforts. To simplify things for the Castillo family has been really rewarding.” Kalispell Regional Healthcare officially opened Montana Children’s on July 1, 2019, as the first pediatric facility of its kind in the state. With the mission to improve patient access to specialty medical care throughout Montana, pediatric specialty regional clinics are currently offered in Polson, Missoula, Great Falls, Helena and Bozeman—and include specialty services in pediatric cardiology, pediatric endocrinology, pediatric gastroenterology, pediatric neurology, pediatric neurosurgery, pediatric oncology and hematology and pediatric surgery. Already, the

190,000 square-foot facility and its various outreach clinics have had a significant impact on children in Montana and their families. Recently, Joseph returned to the main Kalispell facility to have a feeding tube placed in his abdomen to help him receive food and gain weight while his body continues healing. Although he’s 18 years old and nearing 19, he and his family asked to continue care with his pediatric specialty providers which helped assure him comfort and calm going into this new procedure. His positive outlook and lively persistence guide him through rough days with a smile on his face. “He’s been through a lot, but he’s still just so easy going,” says Christine. “We’re learning new things with the feeding tube and he’s walking so well with his new walker to keep him balanced while he gets stronger.” Finishing out his senior year of high school is top priority for Joseph. He’s working through his classes and looks to his niece for inspiration when he needs a little encouragement to complete an assignment. The more free time he has, the more he and Mikaela can dance. “I refuse to say that I am ‘special needs,’” Joseph states. “I like to say I’m very special with needs. No one person is the same, we all have different needs, and that’s what makes us special. We’re all a gift to each other.”



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This year’s theme — Recovery:

By Brenda Ahearn

Recovery is traditionally a word associated with health and wellbeing. It has to do with regaining a state of mind, health or strength, or regaining something that has been lost or stolen. On March 7th, the Flathead Valley will have the opportunity to come together again for the fifth annual Free the Seeds event and will learn about a further definition of recovery, a definition that affects the entire community food system. Eight years ago the Natural Resources Defense Council published a report that stated 40% of food in the United States is not eaten. Much of that ends up in the garbage and in landfills. For Gretchen Boyer of Farms Hands — Nourish the Flathead, this is a staggering waste, but one that does have a solution. Composting. This year Free the Seeds will focus on recovery, the fifth element of community-based food systems, with three workshops specifically on composting as well as multiple opportunities to learn about saving seeds, the other major element of recovery, and many other topics.

of the day so if you want free seeds, go early.

Free the Seeds is happening on Saturday, March 7th, in the Arts and Technology Building at Flathead Valley Community College. The day will begin at 9 AM and go until 3:30 PM with a break for lunch and a total of 24 workshops presented throughout the day.

In addition to the swap, there will be 24 workshops happening throughout the day. In the large community room downstairs, room 139, there will be more than 40 booths from organizations having to do with everything from farms, farmers markets, local businesses, as well as the DNRC and others representing conservation aspects and different areas of the food system. For parents, there will also be a place with activities for children. Children age 8 and up can be dropped off, but a parent will need to accompany younger children.

The official calendar of events has not yet been released, however, it will be online soon and can then be found at freetheseedsmontana.com. One of the most popular aspects of the event is the annual seed swap. “It’s really more of a seed giveaway,” said Boyer. “This year we will give away between 10,000-15,000 packets of organic, open-pollinated and non-hybridized seeds. Many of these will be heirloom seeds because that is what we support as far as seeds go.” Fair warning, people line up for this part

Boyer describes saving seeds as a radical act. "Right now three chemical companies own most of the world’s seeds, their packets clearly say you cannot propagate their seeds. This leads to monoculture and crop failure putting all of us at risk. We want people to realize they can be part of the food system in multiple ways. Free the Seeds is a great opportunity for the new backyard grower and the seasoned farmer to gather and enjoy a sense of community while learning something new together.”

For those who go - what to expect


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A radical act

Recovery is only one part of the Free the Seeds event. Julie Laing of Twice as Tasty will conduct a workshop on eating from top to root. There will be farmers with CSA offers and information on how each of us can support the local food system. This is important because when we think about the quality of food that we put into our bodies we have to think about the chemicals that are sprayed or not, how they affect the quality of the food, the quality of the seeds, and the quality of the soil.”


Free the Seeds has something for every level and encourages involvement. It was after the first Free the Seeds event that the Columbia Falls Imagine If Flathead Grows! Seed Library was established. "Last year I got acorn squash seeds at the seed swap and for the holidays I made roasted squash for my family. I scraped out the seeds, washed them, laid them out on a towel to dry for about a week and put them in a big envelope. This year I made a conscious effort to think about saving seeds more, especially at the end of the season. And now I get to share in this event in a new way,” said Boyer.

“What I would really love to see at Free the Seeds is the absolute novice, the person who has never even attempted a backyard garden, who wants to learn and finds there is a whole community around this. It is easier than people think.”


The Village Shop By Jill Jones Photos by Amanda Wilson Photography

SUSTAINABLE FASHION…Not terminology readily used among the average consumer. In fact, for many consumers the life cycle of a garment, once it leaves our wardrobe is of little concern. We may donate it to a local thrift shop or pass it along to a friend, but the majority of our unwanted clothing and accessories end up in the same place as the rest of our unwanted items… a landfill. Sustainable fashion is a process of fostering change to fashion products and the fashion industry towards greater ecological integrity.

“The current model for consumption is “take-makedispose,” while a circular model considers the reusability of products and materials.” -THE ELLEN MACARTHUR FOUNDATION To better understand sustainable fashion in a circular economy, the concept of “circular fashion,” as defined by Dr. Anna Brismar, may provide a clearer picture. “ ‘Circular fashion’ can be defined as clothes, shoes or accessories that are designed, sourced, produced and provided with the intention to be used and circulate responsibly and effectively in society for as long as possible in their most valuable form, and hereafter return safely to the biosphere when no longer of human use.” -Anna Brismar

Buyers are investing in better made, higher-end items because of their sustainability. Instead of continuously accumulating and replacing cheap lower quality pieces and contributing to the wasteful nature of a consumer society; a more conscientious customer base is beginning to emerge.


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It is with this in mind that Tami Yunck, owner of The Village Shop in Downtown Whitefish, has focused her attention when sourcing merchandise for the store. She wants to provide her customers with high-end pieces whose life-cycle extends not only the longevity of use for the initial buyer but well beyond with quality allowing the item to be passed down or resold in its most valuable form. The Village Shop was originally a ski shop on Big Mountain (1969). When the store was moved to Central Avenue in Whitefish it transitioned from a ski shop to fashion. Tami purchased The Village Shop in 1999. Having worked as a fisheries biologist, a professional skier, as well as a master gardener, she is certainly well-rounded. Her grandmother owned a store which she frequented growing up, so even owning a retail shop was not out of her wheelhouse.


The Village Shop

Tami loves seeing the confidence her customers gain when they find pieces that allow them to express themselves and feel empowered by their selections. She believes it is her responsibility as a retailer to bring awareness to the concept of sustainable fashion. Tami shared with me that she has already seen a shift in the past few years in the way customers select and purchase merchandise; perhaps not widespread, but there is certainly a shift in purchasing behavior. With minimalism on the rise, retailers are seeing a trend in less quantity and more quality purchases. Buyers are investing in better made, higherend items because of their sustainability. Instead of continuously accumulating and replacing cheap lower quality pieces and contributing to the wasteful nature of a consumer society; a more conscientious customer base is beginning to emerge. Customers who appreciate well-made items and understand the benefits of investing in fewer items with greater value and sustainability. The location of The Village Shop is unique because it is built in an old movie theater. For any other architectural and design nerds out there like me, you will appreciate how beautifully she has repurposed the space. The main floor encompasses the traditional retail store with designer clothing, fine jewelry and accessories, and several items from local designers. On the second floor, you will find a consignment shop for customers looking to extend the life-cycle of their items, in addition to finding designer brands ready for a new home. Somewhat unexpected, in the back of the store there is a lovely tea counter, so be sure to stop and grab a hot drink next time you are in.

One of the recurring themes I have found when interviewing local business owners is their pride and love for this community. And it was no different when I visited with Tami. It’s clear she loves her customers and takes great joy in being an encouragement and helping to empower others. Her business is all about the people. Tami shared, “The whole reason I do this, from day 1 to day 7,665, is the PEOPLE. I like to help customers find things that make them smile and maybe add to their confidence, and I want my employees to enjoy their day at work.”


The Village Shop does a wonderful job of offering amazing quality in both service and merchandise, providing customers with an overall experience where they know they are valued.


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in the SUMMER!!! By Jill Jones Photo by Amanda Wilson Photography

Yep, that’s right. The S.N.O.W. Bus is not limited to just winter rides. It runs during Whitefish Mountain Resort’s operating season which means summer too. Providing free transportation to both winter slope seekers and summer adventurers. The name S.N.O.W. Bus leads one to think of winter transportation, but the acronym stands for “Shuttle Network of Whitefish.” The shuttle network has been providing transportation for over 20 years, serving more than 76,000 riders annually.

“If the chair is running, the bus is running.” -Jenny Cloutier Kalispell native and University of Montana graduate, Jenny Cloutier took over as the Executive Director for the Big Mountain Commercial Association this past summer. Jenny is deeply rooted in the community and no stranger to nonprofits. She serves on the board of The Whitefish Convention and Visitor Bureau, Glacier A.E.R.O., the Flathead County Transportation Advisory Committee, and Friends of the Flathead Avalanche Center. Jenny has worked with Foy’s to Blacktail Trails, which she says in an awesome local trails group. She spent time as the Outreach Coordinator for the Bob Marshall Wilderness Foundation and worked for the Flathead National Forest as the Youth Conservation Corps program lead and as a snow and avalanche educator. In addition to all of this, Jenny still currently volunteers as a patroller and educator with the Flathead Nordic Backcountry Patrol and is also a new member of the Flathead County Search and Rescue.

community of members who bring a lot of insti- mares has to be noted. The S.N.O.W. Bus is making constant trips providing countless opportututional knowledge.” nities to catch a ride and several locations. The Big Mountain Commercial Association is a nonprofit public trade association that raises When considering the community impact, I funds to pay for common services and pro- appreciated Jenny’s comments on how the grams. These include funding for the S.N.O.W. Bus, Big Mountain Road winter maintenance, S.N.O.W. Bus sees a lot of youths catching the Big Mountain Summer and Spring Brewfest, rides, especially in the summer. Headed up and the Winter Spiritfest. Their website states, the mountain to hike, mountain bike, and “The BMCA’s objective is to build cooperation enjoy their backyard. It gives young people an and be a community forum for the development opportunity to get out and have fun without of new ideas and projects that will enhance the image of Big Mountain, Whitefish and the Flat- having to be reliant on catching a ride from head Valley as a local, regional and destination family and friends. This is another great way resort.” to support our local kids, encouraging their

Jenny talked about the need for public transportation and how the S.N.O.W. Bus is able to help. The S.N.O.W. Bus provides an important service in the community for free. It not only provides transportation for locals and visitors alike, but Jenny’s strong education background, expe- it helps get our workforce from point A to point rience with countless local programs, with a B. The teams and crews that are the most vital master’s degree in nonprofit administration, for the ski industry and the enjoyment of the sets her apart allowing a vantage point in which mountain have a reliable means for transportashe can make a big impact. Jenny says she really tion to and from work. The impact the S.N.O.W. enjoys working with BMCA; “They are a great Bus has on alleviating traffic and parking night-


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outdoor adventures and providing them with a means to do it. With this in mind, there are plans to continue growing for summer riders. Jenny would love to see the program expand, as there is certainly a need for it in the Valley. Becoming a member or donating to the Big Mountain Commercial Association S.N.O.W. Bus is a great way to give back and support the community. For more information, you can visit bigmtncommercial.org or call (406) 201-5669.


Creating a Successful Campaign By Callie Reagan

We all get them, we even have separate accounts for them or ways to have them filtered out from our main emails. I’m talking about newsletters and e-blasts. The main question is, are they really effective? Do they really work? The answer is yes, otherwise, companies wouldn’t spend the time and money invested in their creation. Like social media, newsletters and e-blasts are a lowcost way to communicate and market to your customers. But there are ways to make these more effective than others, here are a few ideas. First step is to collect your data, meaning that you need to collect and gain approval to send emails. This is so important. If you are using contact information that you did not gain with approval you risk going against the CAN-SPAM Act enacted in 2004. Using emails that you have gained approval from will allow you to reach customers that really want to hear from you. They are the ones that are going to open your emails, buy your products or services and are really your target audience. You can collect these in many different ways. They can be collected from your website, in-person with a personal request, offer specials to people who refer friends, add a link to register on emails from employees, social media campaigns and many more. A really great way to grow your contact list is to offer something of value when they register. This can be a coupon or an instant downloadable study that only you can provide that can benefit your customers. Be creative about what you can give to people and make it something of value.

them. This can be done using things like locations, interests, and timing. Some of these categories can be created after you have sent out a few communications and you see what messages are getting people’s attention and then tailor the information they receive to be more personalized. Another option is to use your sales database, CRM or collected information. Use the data you have collected to make your communications as pertinent and personal as possible. Maybe you have a store and you see that there is an uptick in sales certain times of the year. Find out what is causing it and use that information as a topic for your communication.

Being able to personalize the message to your audience is going to come from analyzing the information you receive from communications sent. What is gaining you the most amount of opens, clicks, forwards, and replies? Once you are able to locate the sweet spot, you are not only giving people what they want, but you should be gaining traction, sales, and more traffic. You should be able to track these statistics through your service provider of choice, like Constant Contact, MailChimp or Drip. Knowing your performance will allow you to gather information on what is working and what is not working. These services also take care of your database and removing or unsubscribing people automatically when they request.

But how do you get people to open the emails to see if they like what you have written or are offering? That is all about the subject line. The subject line is your key to success in getting people’s attention and have them opening your communication. Don’t be misleading, that will get you into trouble When you have collected your contact list the next and lose people’s trust. Be honest, exciting and if step is to segment them into specific lists where possible offer something. What is your communicayou are able to tailor your messages specifically for tion about? Are you offering a 20% off coupon to


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special people? Are you educating them on something important? Make it interesting, you have only a few seconds to have them decide if they are going to open or hit delete.

Once you have the open, you need to make sure that the communication itself if short and simple. Use images and infographics to get your point across and always have a call to action. What do you want your customer to do with your email? You want engagement of some sort. You want a sale, a call, a visit, a referral. You want something and you need to ask for it.

Lastly, you need to do what you say you are going to do or have set the expectation for. If they are signing up for a monthly newsletter, make it monthly. Don’t change it to be weekly or every other month. Just like your social media, you need to be consistent, set your frequency and plan to meet that deadline each and every time. Your customers will appreciate your communications all the more if your messages are planned and expected. Email communications work, give it a try! What you need to do is go into email marketing with the desire to give your customers something that they don’t already have but they need. They need you and they need your services and your knowledge. You are using this as a tool to create a relationship with your customers. This is another avenue to know and understand those you serve. When you know your customers you are able to give them more of what they need and what they desire; creating an increase of referrals, clients, sales, and friendships.


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Effort and Ease By Suzy Aragon Photos by Jill Jones

Balance: the thing we all want but struggle to create in our crazy, busy lives. For me, on the best of days it feels nearly impossible. As a new business owner, mother, partner, dedicated yogi, and practicing nurse, lack of balance seems to be a common theme. When we are out of balance, we tend to feel scattered, anxious, and an overwhelming sense of disease. Conversely, when we are balanced we feel connected, powerful, confident, capable, and fully able to take on the many challenges and joys life brings. If yoga practice is a reflection of our lives, then when we are out of balance in our lives we will be out of balance on our mat. This means that striving for balance in our day to day lives may look like getting a good solid eight hours of sleep, drinking enough water, eating a well balanced diet, and engaging in healthy relationships that foster love, connection and joy. It means resting when we need to and honoring our bodies always. Creating balance can also mean challenging ourselves in ways that may be scary and stepping out of our comfort zones to experience new things in order to continue to grow and learn.

Child’s pose

To begin kneel down onto your mat and bring your big toes together and knees wide apart resting on your shins. From here reach your arms out in front of you and rest your forehead on the ground. Sink your hips down and back over your heels and take a couple cleansing breaths in through the nose and out the mouth. Here is an opportunity to set a personal intention for your practice. An intention is an anchor, a short phrase or word, to focus on while you practice.

When we practice the physical postures of yoga we want to create balanced action in our bodies. This means that we’re not over contracting our muscles, especially the ones not needed in any given pose. This shows up as rigidity in the body and is more of the earth element and is fixed and solid. But, this also means not under-engaging our muscles, which shows up as floppy limbs and heavy, uncontrolled movements. As we move into and out of postures we want to create a perfect pairing of these two elements.

The following series of postures are designed to create balanced action throughout the body. No matter where you are in life and in the ebb and flow of creating balance, this practice will ground you and reconnect you to your center. First we start with warming poses to get the body moving and the blood pumping, followed by some floor postures that are intended to relax and restore the body preparing you for deep rest or shavasana.


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From child’s pose, come onto your hands and knees, tuck your toes and press your hips up and back into downward facing dog. Seperate your feet hip width apart and hands shoulder width apart. Spread all five fingers and press your palms into your mat. Straighten and engage your arms and keep a slight bend at the back of your knees. Engage your belly by drawing your navel in towards your spine and pull it up toward your heart. Notice here where you might be over efforting and trying too hard.


Supta Badha Konasana: Supine Bound angle pose is the first pose I start all


Look forward and walk your feet to your hands. Seperate your feet hip distance, grab opposite elbows and fold over your legs. Allow your head to fall heavy down toward the floor and soften the back of your knees. Keep your breath fluid and continuous.

my yin classes in. You may use a strap to support the knees or you can use blocks or blankets if the stretch feels initially too deep to hold. Close your eyes and take several deep breaths initially to create a clearing and then let go of any intentional breathing and simply breathe naturally and effortlessly.

Chair Pose

From here release your elbows, toe-heel your feet together and on an inhale sink your hips down into chair pose. Imagine you are sitting in a chair behind you. Keep your arms extended overhead or you can modify by bending elbows or bring your hands to heart center. Pour most of your weight into your heels and draw the pit of your belly in and up. From here take 3-5 breaths or until you start to feel your inner superhero being awakened.

Heart Bridge: You will need two blocks for this or two firmly rolled up blankets. Lay down on your belly and slide the blocks under your shoulders. Leave at least 2 inches of the block in front of your shoulders and then allow the rest of the block to support your upper arm bones. Place your arms alongside you, slightly bend your elbows and face your palms upward. Rest your forehead on the mat. Keep your attention on your breath and allow your chest, heart, and upper back to melt and expand.

High plank/low plank

From chair pose step back into high plank pose. Bring your wrists under your shoulders and heels over the balls of your feet. Keep your hips lifted and in line with your shoulders. If your spine is caving in toward the floor drop your knees down to help support your lower back. Hold high plank for 3-5 breaths and then lower into low plank 1-2 breaths. To transition into low plank shift forward by pressing into your toe pads and move your shoulders slightly in front of wrists. Lower half way down until your shoulders are in line with your elbows or come all the way to the floor.

Waterfall: From heart bridge flip onto your back. Bend your knees, place your feet slightly wider than hip width and lift your pelvis. Slide a block, bolster or firmly rolled up blanket underneath your sacrum. Make sure the prop isn’t too high or too low. You should feel fully supported at the tailbone and be able to surrender your body weight onto the prop. Bring your arms alongside you and face your palms upward. Stay for 5-10 minutes.


From low plank flip onto the tops of your feet, push your palms into your mat, straighten your arms and lift your chest up into upward facing dog. Lift both thighs up off the floor and allow your hips to pull forward so they are slightly behind your wrists. For your first updog take 3-5 breaths to land the pose in your body. From updog shift back into downdog using the strength of your core. YIN: Now we move into the yin zone where the body has an opportunity to rest and restore. This is the time to pause, reflect, enjoy, and balance all our doing with being.

Savasana: In savasana lay flat on your mat and close your eyes. Seperate your feet about hip width and allow your toes to fall away from each other. Bring your arms alongside you and face your palms up. This is your time to rest into stillness and receive your practice. Let any movement subside and release control of your breathing. This posture is all about ease and letting your senses go. Stay here for as long as you need. Take this moment to honor and acknowledge yourself. Namaste sweet souls. May you be happy, may you be healthy, and may all good things come your way.



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Love what you do and you’ll be good at it.

Kalispell Physician Retiring after 38 Years “I’ve been blessed with a profession that I love and that loves me back.” – Dr. John Lavin After practicing medicine for nearly 39 years and delivering upwards of 3,800 babies, Dr. John Lavin is preparing to hang up his stethoscope at the end of April. His parents always told him, “if you love what you do, you’ll be good at it”.


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By Mary Wallace

It might be surprising to learn that young John did not initially set out to be a doctor - what he wanted to be was a Catholic priest. He even attended one year at seminary school, but he then transferred to the University of Nevada, and set his course toward the medical profession instead, graduating in 1981. He did his family practice residency through the University of Colorado in Denver and then set up a solo private family practice in Powell, WY, in 1984. His friend, Dr. Stan Malnar encouraged him to move to Kalispell and join him, which he finally did in 1986. As much as he enjoyed his family practice, he soon discovered that delivering babies was the favorite part of his job, and back to the University of Colorado he went. He graduated from the OB-Gyn Residency from the University of

Colorado in 1992. He moved back to Kalispell and was in solo practice. He worked with Dr. Charles Ludden until 2004 and then he joined Dr. Kathleen Nelson and Dr. Gwenda Jonas at Kalispell OB-Gyn. In that time, Dr. Lavin delivered almost 100 babies per year. In his earlier years, he guesses that about half were born at night, but with many of today’s moms opting for induction, most are born during the day now. In all that time, only three babies were born on the way to the hospital. Twenty-four (24) more recent births were second-generation babies born to the grown-up infants he delivered years ago. Every single healthy child born into his hands has felt like one of the most rewarding things he has ever done. Such a rush – every single time!


Every single healthy child born into his hands has felt like one of the most rewarding things he has ever done. Such a rush – every single time! His primary specialty has been obstetrics. He also practices gynecology. His patients range in age from teens, through motherhood, to middle age, and menopause. He’s witnessed some positive changes in the medical field throughout his career. There are more women in the field of medicine than ever before, and the sheer development of technology that has evolved has been mind-boggling. Dr. Lavin was born at Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas where his dad was in the Army. Every three years or so, his dad was promoted as a Forest Service Supervisor taking, the family to Wyoming, Nevada, and Idaho. In 1974, during one of his college physics classes, he met a young lady named Anita, and by his own admission, it was love at first sight. They were married in 1978 and have seven children ranging in age from 38 to 15yrs old. Dr. Lavin shared, by the very nature of his job, he was a somewhat absent parent. Anita did the majority of work in the family while working part-time as a physical therapist.

Besides the impact he has had on the lives of each infant and parent he has been privileged to work with, Dr. Lavin has also been active in the community. He and his family are members of Risen Christ Parish, he has been involved with Daybreak Rotary, and he’s been the consulting physician for the Hope Pregnancy Center.

When asked who has supported, inspired and mentored him, Dr. Lavin responded: l Jesus taught me not to live in fear and to have courage. Anita taught me how to be patient, kind and loving.

All the nurses who educated him on how to be a doctor.


l His partners at Kalispell Ob-Gyn are the best team of doctors with whom he has ever had the privilege to work alongside.

Dr. Lavin is only one-fifth of the equation at Kalispell Ob-Gyn. He’s had the privilege to work with a great team of doctors, Dr.

Kathleen Nelson, Dr. Gwenda Jonas, Dr. Thomas deHoop and Dr. Jenna Huff. He is confident that the staff at Kalispell Ob-Gyn will continue taking the time to really listen to their patients and provide the best care.

What will he do now that he will be retired? Well, work of course! He plans to work part-time training new physicians on how to deliver babies in the residency program at Kalispell Regional Healthcare. He and his wife, Anita, have plans to travel to Peru and see Machu Picchu. He would like to learn to fish; perhaps his grandchildren can teach him. Spending time with family is most important in his upcoming retirement.

When asked if he has any advice for grandparents, Dr. Lavin said he learned from a grandmother, “your children are your best investment, grandchildren are the dividends!” As for advice for young parents, “A whole universe of happiness awaits you!”

Photo from left to right: Thomas deHoop, MD, Kim Forthofer, ARNP, Jenna Huff, MD, Gwenda Jonas, MD, Kathleen Nelson, MD, Kasey Patton, WHNP, John Lavin, MD



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against when they are angry; someone to look for them and pray for them when they run, because loving another human is not something they can understand and something they have never experienced. The only people that “loved them” hurt them or wanted something from them.

Changed lives Reflections of a Foster/ Adoptive Mom By Amanda Creamer

As I enter my 10th year as a foster/adoptive mom, I can’t help but look back at the years in wonder. Not just how fast they’ve flown by, but the ways that I’ve seen countless lives changed. Perhaps my own, the most.


Having a family doesn’t immediately heal the trauma and neglect a child has endured. It does however, give them someone to rejoice with when the day is good, someone to beat 46 406


I instinctively knew since I was 8-years-old that I would not bear my own children, but rather I would be a mother to many whom I did not birth. With great certainty, I told my mom my plan and never looked back. It’s very different than my 8-year-old self thought it would be, but it is one of the best decisions I ever made. We started with international adoption. God blessed us as we brought home the most delicious, chubby baby that my husband and I bonded with immediately. A private domestic adoption quickly followed when a family friend that found herself deep in drug addiction needed someone to adopt her baby girl. Then I heard about foster care and knew that was where God was calling our family. We started with fostering newborns for a long as they needed. Our second placement was a 4-pound baby boy withdrawing from drugs that his mother did while he was in her belly. To say that my protective mother gene kicked in would be the understatement of the century. With his crib pressed up against our bed, I will always remember the sound of him struggling to breathe and will never understand how his tiny frame could work so hard. This little fighter never left us. My son is now 6 and is the strongest little Montana boy I know.

Somewhere in our journey, we decided 3 children under age 4 wasn’t enough! So, we went to China and brought home a 4-year-old boy with a skin condition that was leaving him on the waiting child list. Arriving home, we were now at 4 kids under 5 years old and ready to take a small break from foster care so that we could find our rhythm. Whatever that looked like. But we weren’t done. The need for foster and adoptive families continued to break our hearts. And, to top it off, I went to work at Child Bridge, a faith-based organization that finds and equips foster and adoptive families to care for child victims of abuse and neglect. I was living this life at home, and now also at work. So, what did we do? Begin fostering teenagers, of course! I’m not sure how it all came about… If you know anything about the Enneagram, I’m a 7 and always ready for the next challenge. We have fostered two beautiful teenage girls. For one of them the unconditional love of a family feels like hot water on freezing skin. For the other, the safety of a family was what she craved for herself and her infant daughter.


Changed lives

"When you have more than you need build a longer table, not a bigger fence." in yourself. No one can prepare you for the hurt and trauma you’ll experience hearing their stories. No one can really prep you for the self-reflection required when they hit every hot button you have known to (wo)man! One was in foster care for more than half of her 17 years on this earth. The unthinkable happened to her. She saw even more tragic and despicable things happen to those around her. By the age of 8, while her peers were playing with ponies and Barbies and learning to paint their nails, she was learning to avoid getting beat up. She was learning what to do when you find a needle in your mom’s arm and she is passed out. She was learning how to hide drugs that her mom brought home and hoping that would help her mom get sober, or at least not get high and hurt her. One of my girls was homeless most of her teen years, running from the abuse that always seemed to find her. The stories she tells me are haunting, and they are stories that are hard to believe given this beautiful, seemingly peaceful place we live. She was in situations that no child should be in. Many other Montana children are suffering the same horrific start in life. One made me a 36-year-old grandmother this year and it was one of my highest honors to stand by her as she brought her sweet girl into this world. She is determined to be a wonderful mom and not let her daughter experience the same abuse and neglect. She wants to break the cycle. And I know with every ounce of my being that she will do just that. One left home this year to try living on her own. We are cheering her on. No weekend training can equip you for the brokenness you’ll encounter…in these children and

When I started foster care and adoption, I still held that pure and untainted perspective of my 8-year-old self. I thought all these children needed to heal was a loving family that would be in their corner and they would miraculously leave behind the behaviors that kept them alive all those years. I naively hoped that the abuse they saw and experienced would not stay part of them when they saw the love and stability of a family…that it would be magically erased. That is not their story. That is not our story.

My littles, as we endearingly refer to them, are doing well. They love school, love their friends, are very smart and love deeply. My teens are both struggling to believe they are loved and valuable. In my marrow, deep in my DNA, I want them to know that more than anything. But they are not alone in the struggle…even when they feel they are…they have family. And that is what I think, what I know, these children deserve. This is the hardest thing my family has ever done. To reach down into the brokenness over and over and over again…not knowing if we will see the impact of that love in this new decade or beyond. Everyone deserves someone in their corner. We are in theirs.

And Child Bridge has always been in ours. Trauma makes kids do things that other kids don’t...things that other parents do not understand. Child Bridge gets it and provides invaluable resources and relationships to those on the foster care journey. The connections I’ve found with other moms that are doing what we are doing are game changers. As sure as my 8-year-old self knew 30 years ago, we know this is the life we are called to live. "When you have more than you need build a longer table, not a bigger fence."


If you’d like more information about Child Bridge, or would like to schedule a presentation at your church, civic group or event, contact info@childbridgemontana.org, or call 406-2-FOSTER.


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Time by Dr. John F. Miller DDS

What is time? How does one define this concept? “Time is the indefinite continued progress of existence and events that occur in an apparently irreversible succession from the past, through the present, into the future.” According to Wikipedia. If time is a commodity, then it must have value. At this point I also want the reader to understand that what something costs is not always representative of it’s value. Time has no cost, you cannot buy it. It is being doled out evenly to every living thing at this very moment, but how it is respectively being valued varies greatly. The value of time is relative and obeys the universal laws of supply and demand. Have you ever watched a sporting event where the trailing team really turns up the intensity towards the end of the game and the result is them catching up giving them a chance at


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victory? Have you, like me, ever thought, “why don’t they play like that the whole game?” It’s because in the beginning of the game there is an abundance of time and therefore it has little value. On the flip side, if you have the lead when time is running out the value of time to you is basically zero. In fact, teams in this position have designed strategies in order to “burn the clock,” or in other words waste time. It seems so cruel that one team would squander that which the opposition values most. In the above scenario both teams have the advantage of at least knowing how much time remains. It is not a mystery. This is not the case with most things in life. All too often we only know when time has run out...when it’s too late for the heroic comeback. Now I have the complicated task of tying the above intro into my profession of Dentistry. In thinking about the concept of time as it relates to dentistry, the phrase Too Little Too Late comes to mind. As I have mentioned multiple

times in previous editions of 406 Woman, the two major oral pathological processes are for the large part painless. These are tooth decay aka cavities, and bone loss aka gum disease. And to make matters worse, both of these issues are not visible to the naked eye in their early stages. In other words, you can’t feel them or see them until they’re in an advanced stage, sometimes the “too little too late” stage. Because of this, the dental profession highly recommends regular dental evaluations which include radiographs/x-rays. Dental X-rays when taken properly allow us to visualize very clearly any loss of bone around teeth in addition to any loss or weakening of tooth enamel. Quite often we see very minor issues in which we just bring awareness to the patient and reemphasize ideal oral hygiene practices in hopes to stabilize the problem without the need for a dental procedure. However, if you are receiving routine dental evaluations, any problem that needs to be fixed will be very small and easy to eliminate...it will not be too little or too late.

If you have not seen a dentist recently I would strongly encourage making an appointment. We don’t like telling someone it’s too little too late any more than they like hearing it. health} Occasionally I have the unfortunate task of informing someone that a tooth or teeth are not able to be saved. Any attempt at restoration would indeed be too little and too late. It is not uncommon for a patient to express the desire to go back in time and avoid their present oral health problems. As of this year Two thousand and Twenty, we still cannot go back in time. If you are currently under the regular care of one of the great dentists that we have in the Flathead Valley, great! Please continue. If you have not seen a dentist recently I would strongly encourage making an appointment. We don’t like telling someone it’s too little too late any more than they like hearing it. Don’t find yourself in a position wanting to go back in time, that’s wasted worry. Let’s keep ourselves as healthy as we can and look optimistically towards the future... with enthusiasm for the adventures it holds.

During our lives we climb this mountain of time and our horizon of perspective expands. We can figuratively “look down” at the stretches and pitches of our lives and think, “Man, I was in such a hurry to pass that section when I should have tarried...should have enjoyed the view and the companionship of my fellow ‘climbers.’ Instead I kept my head down thinking something better was just past the next rise.” Of course, I’m being a little dramatic. This kind of thing always happens to me around the new year, especially after turning the page on a new decade. Don’t worry about me, I have had an incredible life. That’s not to say it came without blisters and cramps, sunrises and sunsets, hailstorms and sunshowers, or weeds and wildflowers as it most certainly has. It’s just that on this mountain there are a lot of forks on the way funneling cherished acquaintances on to separate paths. Paths that may rarely or never cross again. We’d be foolish not to understand, however, that there are convergent paths ahead carrying the greatest of friends that we have yet to meet. Prepare yourselves to meet them with a SMILE and have a deeply positive impact on their journey. Happy New Year and New Decade Everyone!! How the hell did we make it this far?



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406 w o m a n

profile 14. SeĂąor Montana Tacos y Mas

design 7. Must-haves for the Modern Host 20. Tablescaping Talking About 28. Love Your Space Wright’s Furniture


30. The Village Shop


travel 32. Irish I was in Ireland

food & flavor 38. Irish Soda Bread 40. Champagne Bigfork Liquor Barn 41. Aperol Spritz


42. Jamie & Tyler


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46. Hailey & Joplin

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Cover Couple

Business Couple

Stacey Ingham and Tiffany Newman Owners Of Indah Sushi

Kathleen Hennen Owner of Bigfork Design photos by :

Amanda Wilson Photography ( www . amandawilsonphotos . com )


Cindy Gerrity


business manager Daley McDaniel


creative & social media director Amanda Wilson


Published by Skirts Publishing six times a year 704 C East 13th St. #138  Whitefish, MT 59937 info@406woman.com CopyrightŠ2020 Skirts Publishing

View current and past issues of 406 Woman at

w w w . 4 0 6 W o m a n . c o m


Sara Joy Pinnell



Daley McDaniel Photography Kelly Kirksey Photography Carrie Ann Photography Amanda Wilson Photography Jill Jones Photography

Want to know about great events, open houses, and more? Like us on Facebook at facebook.com/406 Woman 406 Woman is distributed in Bigfork, Columbia Falls, Kalispell, Missoula, Whitefish and every point in between. Check out www.406woman.com for our full distribution list. Have a great story idea or know someone that we should feature? Email us with your comments & suggestions. Interested in increasing your business and partnering with 406 Woman? Check out www.406woman.com.

Editor’s Note

With this issue, we bring you February and March. Chapters two and three of twelve. Still the beginning with lots of room for growth, change, success and adventures. Anything you want the New Year to be you can still make it happen. In this Issue, we hope you find inspiration and motivation to do just that. You’ll find beautiful stories of love, you’ll meet women who took chances and have discovered talent and success. So, we encourage you to dream big, work hard and change the rules, but most importantly have fun. Amanda & Cindy


View current and past issues of 406 Woman at

w w w . 4 0 6 W o m a n . c o m

Community Corner q&a

e t Ahearn.… M eBrenda Photojournalist

Resides: Whitefish, Montana Notable Accomplishments: My brushes with history include photographing three U.S. Presidents (one in the presence of the White House Press Corps - the most intense and aggressive photographers on the planet!) various national leaders, and once being hugged by a king. My work has appeared around the world via the Associated Press as well as in the Washington Post, USA Today and TIME magazine. Journalism has opened such incredible doors for me, given me access to moments and encounters I would otherwise never have gotten to experience. My work always includes: A journalist’s love of the “decisive moment,” a phrase coined by Henri Cartier-Bresson. I love the light, but for me, the most important element when photographing a person is always found in their expressions. Sometimes there is only a split second between a real smile and a performed smile. I live for those moments when I capture the real and true person. It always feels like a privilege to be so trusted. My favorite outdoor activity is: Heading out to capture the sunrise. It is a time of day so filled with hope. I will take my camera and my journal and head out into Glacier, or anywhere really. Get to where I want to be, and then wait and hope the light will do something magical (which it so often does). Finally, when the light is fully up and I’ve captured my photos, then I want to just be outside thinking and praying and absorbing the lessons of the day. For that, there is no better tool than a journal. I’ve been keeping journals since April 2001, so I now have more than 100 of these books filled.


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By Amanda Holliday Photos by Amanda Wilson Photography

What happens when a restaurant veteran from Southern California moves to Montana and misses authentic, fresh street tacos? Luckily for the Flathead Valley, you get Señor Montana Tacos y Mas—one of the valley’s newest food trucks. Aaron Holliday is the man behind Señor Montana Tacos y Mas, but it is truly a family affair. His wife, Amanda, is a marketing consultant and has had a hand in developing the brand and getting the word out about the business. The couple also has a 4-year-old son, Owen, who makes occasional appearances on the truck and loves to call out orders when they are ready.


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After months of designing and building out the food truck from a retired US postal truck, Señor Montana first hit the streets of Flathead Valley in May 2019. Since then, Holliday and his small but mighty team have been everywhere—and that’s exactly when Holliday wanted in his first season in business—to be everywhere.

“I have always wanted to do my own thing and be able to cook the food I want the way I think it should be cooked, with the level of service people deserve and expect.” profile}

Aaron Holliday

“One of the best compliments I get is when people tell me, ‘I see you everywhere.’”

Señor Montana Tacos y Mas has been a vision of Aaron’s for years. Before starting Señor Montana, Holliday worked at restaurants throughout the area. “I have always wanted to do my own thing and be able to cook the food I want the way I think it should be cooked, with the level of service people deserve and expect,” Holliday explained.

The truck brings Mexican street food that you would find in Southern California or Baja Mexico right here to Northwest Montana. As a mobile food vendor, Holliday focuses on providing the freshest food possible at affordable prices.

In addition to being “everywhere”, Holliday seeks to show that fresh, high-quality, flavorful and fun food can come from a food truck. Growing up and living in Southern California for most of his life, food trucks have always been around. “In California, people don’t think twice about eating from a food truck. They actually seek them out and find their favorite trucks wherever they are,” Holliday commented. Señor Montana features a menu that truly has something for everyone. The star of the menu is the street tacos, available with pollo asado (grilled chicken), or carne asada (grilled steak). The tacos are served on corn tortillas with fresh made guacamole, salsa, cilantro and grilled onions.

In addition to street tacos, Señor Montana offers a taco salad, portobello mushroom tacos, quesadillas, chips and queso and more. One of the most surprising menu items is the Tijuana Torpedo—a bacon wrapped hot dog topped with guacamole, onion, cilantro, mas sauce, mustard, and salsa. “It’s a traditional Mexican street food. Once you try it, you get it,” explained Holliday.

Throughout the summer, Señor Montana could be found throughout the Flathead Valley at regular daily locations as well as public and private events. As the seasons change, food trucks are heading into storage for the winter. So, what’s next for Señor Montana? During the winter, the truck may not be on the street, but people will still be able to get their taco fix. Señor Montana will be sharing space during the winter months with GreenGo’s Homemade Meals located at 6466 US 93 S in Whitefish offering favorites from the food truck, along with new options. Whether it’s chips and salsa, breakfast burritos before heading up the mountain or take and bake enchiladas, Señor Montana has some new and exciting things planned for the “off-season”. In addition to being available at GreenGo’s, Señor Montana will also be doing pop-ups at Spotted Bear Spirits in Whitefish for a select number of Taco Tuesdays. Holliday is also always available for private parties and office lunches. For schedule, announcements and how to order from Señor Montana, visit www.senormontanatacos.com or follow @senormontanatacos on Instagram or Facebook.



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TALKING ABOUT By June Jeffries for Empress Tents and Events Photographed by Kelly Kirksey Photography


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Everybody is talking about 2020, a new decade and new beginnings; each year, long before the ball drops in Times Square, Pantone determines color trends for the upcoming year. I don’t imagine it’s a simple task as styles and trends are always changing and since design is impacted by color, choosing your color palette is the first step in planning your event’s design. The colors and shades you pick will influence the decor you select, from flowers to the rentals, as well as other elements: your personal preference, the season and the venue also play a role in your decision. We know settling on a color isn’t easy but it helps to use mood boards, pin favorite color palettes and share ideas with a professional. It is helpful to choose a color or two (even three) that you love, trust your instinct because design is a reflection of self. As designers we experiment, sometimes we push the boundaries while other times we choose a neutral palette with pops of color because it works; it doesn’t matter if classic blue is the color of the year because our styled shoot was inspired by Valentine’s Day: red roses, pink hearts and golden promises of love. The color palette paired beautifully with the venue at Snowline Acres. If you’ve read our articles then you’ll know how passionate we are about repurposing. The deconstruction, reconstruction, and relocation of the historic Kalispell

design} Lumber building from the Flathead County Fairgrounds to its new home at 3315 U.S 93 South (Snowline Acres) was a project of mammoth proportions. Kristin and Tom Davis commissioned Heritage Timber, a Missoula based deconstruction company, to reassemble 220,000 board feet of wood; the towering ceiling trusses were transported to the new location on huge flatbeds, the ceiling stands 40 feet; it is spectacular and certainly worth their efforts.

Kristin and Tom’s decision to move the historic building has not only brought life and purpose to a part of Kalispell’s history but has added another unique venue to the community.

As soon as we heard about the ‘new’ venue we couldn’t wait to coordinate a photo shoot with all the usual fanfare. Since the wedding season is right around the corner it’s the perfect opportunity to showcase a styled event complete with linen-covered tables and cafe chairs, seating areas and a bride. It isn’t Valentine’s Day without a few roses and a touch of pink and gold accents. The tables were set with pink slate plates, on top of classic glass and gold-trimmed chargers, with a burgundy napkin to showcase the subtle pink tones, vintage blush depression glass filled with champagne and topped with a dollop of cotton candy, and gold matte silverware to accent the floral centerpieces. The seating area was nestled below one of the 22” beams, the neutral tones showcased the interior of the old-growth wood, the gold hammered side tables added an element of glam to the rustic motif. The bride wore a Stella York gazing out at the floor to ceiling windows beneath beautiful trusses. This is a venue worth its weight in ‘gold’.

Thank you: Lynn at Empress Tents & Events (www.empresstentsevents. com) for her attention to detail and for providing everything we needed for the styled shoot. Thank you to Mimi’s Bridal (www.mimisbridalmontana. com), @bombshell406hair and @tynymakeup, gratitude to Jennilee for florals artistry, Snowline Acres, @swirlcttoncandy AND Kelly (http://kellykirkseyphotography.com) …. you know how special you are!


Love Your Space... home accents By Wright’s Furniture

Showcasing a modern lodge style, this two door cabinet features hand pieced mosaic doors in oak veneer finished in light gray, with a contrasting elm veneer exterior finished in deep black with light gray glazing. Accented with solid iron hardware and legs in aged black.

This quilted custom made dining chair is a Wright’s Furniture favorite. Make it your own and customize every aspect of your chair: color, fabric, leg design and wood finish. With so many beautiful collections to choose from, we can help you find the perfect chair to fit your style.

Hand forged strips of metal, in staggered lengths and curled at both ends, are used to create this bold mirror frame. Finish consists of metallic silver with black dry brushing and rust brown edges.

Use quality decorative pillows in solid, patterned, textured and embellished designs to add the final touches to your space. An endless variety of styles and sizes are available for both indoor and outdoor spaces.


Inspired by the bark of a birch tree, this table lamp features a ceramic base finished in offwhite with rust colored accents and noticeable texture and distressing. The piece also has a crystal foot and brushed nickel details. The round hardback shade is a light oatmeal linen fabric with slubbing.

Refreshingly modern, this geometric accent chest features carved drawer fronts, creating a monochromatic statement in a beautiful classic blue finish. Add a pop of color to a space with a stylish and functional accent chest. -All the featured pieces as well as many other options are available at Wright's Furniture Store in Whitefish6325 HWY 93 South, Whitefish, Montana 59937 | 406.862.2455 | Open Daily |Free Local Delivery | Free Design Services | www.wrightsfurniturestore.com



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Irish I was

in Ireland By Heidi Hartunian & Justin Ringor

We are off to Ireland with the traveling duo, Heidi and Justin, from Adventure State of Mind. Follow along as they traverse through the green hills of the Emerald Isle, exploring historic castles, villages and pubs along the way…

Jameson Distillery

We began our Irish adventure in Dublin. After the long flight and ride from the airport, we checked into the Blooms Hotel, located in the Temple Bar area. Temple Bar is a wildly popular area of Dublin, so the streets and pubs are full of life, especially on the weekend. After dropping our stuff off in the room, and enjoying a complimentary Guinness in the adjacent hotel pub, we made our way to the Jameson Distillery, Bow St for the Bow St. Experience tour. Whiskey fans should definitely add the experience to their Dublin itinerary. After the tour, we made our way back to Temple Bar by hopping from pub to pub along the way. Some of our favorite pubs that evening were the Brazen Head, The Long Hall, The Temple Bar, and The Old Store house. The Brazen Head and The Long Hall stood out in particular. If looking for a change of pace from the pub scene, seek out the Vintage Cocktail Club (if you can find it).


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Ring of Kerry

Our only full day in Dublin was dedicated to sightseeing. If you plan on taking in a high volume of sightseeing, definitely purchase a ticket for a hop onoff bus tour. It will take you to many of the places of interest that you had in mind for your trip. However, don’t use that same bus as transportation around the city, because it will take forever to get back to any stop you’ve already passed. We began the day at The Guinness Storehouse, which is another one of those experiences you must do when visiting Dublin. It is definitely recommended to purchase a Stoutie as part of your ticket. From the Storehouse, we hustled over to Trinity College to see the Book of Kells and the Long Room of the Old Library. We then took the Teeling Distillery tour before heading over toward Grafton Street and St. Stephen's Green. St. Stephen's Green is a great place for an afternoon/early evening stroll. In the evening, we knocked a few more pubs off the list. Those included Kehoes Pub (highly recommended!) O’Donoghues which had great live music, and the Whiskey Palace. From Dublin, we headed west to Killarney for three nights. While there are alternative options to get from Dublin to other popular towns in Ireland, we

chose to rent a car and be our own guides on our Ireland Adventure. On the way to Killarney, we made stops at the Rock Of Cashel, Hore Abbey, and Blarney Castle and Gardens. The Rock of Cashel, a group of medieval buildings set atop a hill overlooking the surrounding countryside, makes for a great introduction to what you will see while you explore Ireland outside of Dublin. While exploring the remains of the structures and taking in the surrounding views, I think it finally dawned on us that we were in Ireland…or jetlag was wearing off. After we experienced what Rock of Cashel had to offer, we took a walk down the hill to the remains of Hore Abbey. Hore Abbey is an eerie, yet beautiful, set of ruins with parts dating back to the 13th century. On our visit, we had the place to ourselves. Consequently, we took advantage of the solitude by taking a lot of photos. From Cashel, we headed to the famous Blarney Castle to kiss the Blarney Stone. We couldn't go to Ireland and not plan on kissing the Blarney Stone... germs be damned! Blarney Castle and Gardens offered us a chance to walk through Blarney Castle. After climbing the steps to the top, we waited for the chance to receive the Gift of Gab. While I don’t want


Irish wishes

Blarney Castle to give away too much of the experience—I recommend not keeping anything in your jacket pockets as you move in for that kiss, unless you’re on board with making an offering to the ground below. Once we planted one on the Blarney Stone, we headed back down and explored the grounds (including the Poison Garden). We continued on to Killarney, and checked into Scotts Hotel, located in the heart of Killarney’s Town Centre. This is a great option if you’re looking for an accommodation that offers great rooms, a pub and beer garden while being within walking distance of all that the Town Centre has to offer. That evening we walked around town, enjoyed dinner at The Porterhouse, and dropped in to a few pubs. Courtney’s Bar and Murphy’s are two great pubs to grab a pint and listen to local live music. For a really cool experience, explore the nooks and crannies of John M Reidy’s, a sweetshop turned pub with live music. On the night we visited, there was live music in the front of the pub and in the beer garden.

The view of Dublin streets from Kehoes Pub with pints of Guinness  

While visiting Killarney, two activities that we highly recommend are the Ring of Kerry drive and the Gap of Dunloe bike ride. If you are planning on visiting Killarney, you will no doubt run into a lot of information about the Ring of Kerry. The entire 179km drive can be done in a full day, but if you have enough time, there are some small towns to stay overnight so that you don’t feel pressed


The Long Room in the 18th-century Old Library building at Trinity College Dublin Ring of Kerry


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Irish wishes

Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin

Gap of Dunloe, Killarney

Biking the Gap of Dunloe is two experiences in one. In order to reach the starting point of the bike ride, we had to catch a boat at Ross Castle in Killarney National Park. for time. Along with enjoying the great coastal views, we enjoyed stops at Ballycarbery Castle, Portmagee, Kerry Cliffs, Ballinskelligs, and Staigue Fort. If travelling the ring counterclockwise, end your day with dinner and a pint in Kenmare. We stopped into O’Donnabhain’s for a delicious meal of Fish and Chips and Guinness and Beef stew.

Ross Castle in Killarney National Park. The boat ride to the starting point takes you across the lakes of Killarney and provides spectacular views of the surrounding national park. Once you disembark from the boat, you ride up and over the gap and down into a beautiful valley with stunning lakes. On your way back into town, grab a pint (or two) at Kate Kearney’s cottage.

The boats at Ross Castle in Killarney National Park

After returning our bikes, we popped into Killarney Brewing Company to sample some local craft beer, and then made our way to our glamping tent at Killarney Glamping. Killarney Glamping is located just outside of the town centre, and provides a remarkable alternative to the usual hotel stay and has the same amenities.

and only a short walk to Quay Street. Quay Street is the center of all the action, with street musicians playing to the crowds of pedestrians cruising the street lined with pubs, restaurants, and shops. If the weather is nice, grab a seat outside at Tigh Neachtain enjoy a pint, and revel in the great pastime known as “people-watching”. A few other pubs that we enjoyed in Galway were King’s Head, Quays Bar, The Front Door, O’Connell’s Bar, and Tigh Coili. We had all Guinness with a bit of Whiskey here and there (if you were curious). How else are you supposed to find out who has the best Guinness tap in Ireland? Galway

Galway was up next on our itinerary. On our way to Galway we visited the epic Cliffs of Moher. The Cliffs of Moher provide beautiful, yet potentially stomach churning, views of the jagged steep cliffs rising almost straight out of the Atlantic Ocean. The Cliffs are both a great place to stretch your legs and snap a few pictures for your friends and family at home. Not far from the Cliffs of Moher is the town of Doolin, which makes for a great lunch stop when continuing on to Galway. If you plan ahead of time you can take a day trip ferry to the Aran Islands from Doolin.

On our final day in Killarney, we biked the Gap of Dunloe. Biking the Gap of Dunloe is actually two experiences in one. In order to reach the starting point of the bike ride, we had to catch a boat at


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At the start of our trip, we met a man at Kehoes Pub who raved about Galway (as a disclaimer, he was from Galway) he assured us that Galway was the best! He was spot on, we found that Galway is definitely a fun place to spend a few days. While in Galway, we stayed at the Imperial Hotel, located in Eyre Square



Irish wishes

Killarney Glamping is located just outside of Killarney town centre, and provides a remarkable alternative to the usual hotel stay and has the same amenities. is also a great place to try local seafood. We hit McDonagh’s on our first night for a delicious shellfish platter, and then Oscar's Seafood Bistro on the following day for oysters and sea trout ceviche. The oysters had just arrived from the bay, a real ocean-to table experience. There is plenty of adventure to be had outside of the city as well. We took a drive to Connemara National Park and Kylemore Abbey, stopping at Clifden Castle along the way. When visiting Clifden Castle, be sure to watch out for the bull. I’m not sure if there is actually a bull, but there’s a sign telling individuals to watch out! While we didn’t spend much time in Connemara, and Kylemore Abbey was a little too busy for our mindset. However, the drive to this area is great and on the way back toward Galway there were sheep walking all over the road. Heidi kept trying to get out and take pictures of them, but they were being, you know, sheepish. Before heading back to town for dinner, we explored the ivy covered ruins of Menlo Castle on the bank of the river Corrib; we highly recommend a visit there. A day of driving and exploring can create quite an appetite for food and drink, so we headed back out to the pubs on Quay street on our last evening in Galway. The next morning we headed back to Dublin—for our last night in Ireland. We made a pit stop at Sean’s Bar in Athlone which claims to be the oldest pub in Ireland, dating back to 900AD. When we reached Dublin, we checked into Hotel Riu Plaza The Gresham on O'Connell Street. Then we headed immediately to the Jameson Distillery on Bow St. to pick up a personalized bottle of Jameson Distillery Edition (to commemorate our trip). We stopped back into The Brazen Head and had a reasonably priced pub dinner at Ned O’Sheas across the street. Our last evening we enjoyed checking out the pubs around Temple Bar. Ireland is truly a country not easily forgotten, full of history with sweeping backdrops of green.


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Photos from top to bottom: Killarney Glamping, Killarney. Cliffs of Moher. Guinness Storehouse, Dublin. Irish peddler, Ring of Kerry.

Heidi and Justin have been traveling California’s back roads for over eight years. As they jump from fabulous place to fabulous place, they also enjoy many of California’s microbreweries along the way. You can keep track of their adventures through their website adventurestateofmind.com or their Instagram feed _adventurestateofmind_.

Irish Soda Bread By Carole Morris


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food} Many of us in the United States, and across the world, enjoy Irish traditions. However, we are clueless about what shaped Ireland’s cultural identity. One example is Saint Patrick’s Day, a day that we enjoy “going green on”. In Ireland, it’s a feast day to celebrate an Irish Patron Saint. As the Irish immigrated to America (in the 19th Century), the festivities of Saint Patrick followed and became a worldwide celebration. Then there’s traditional Irish music with instruments such as fiddles, and Irish bouzoukis, Uilleann pipes and the Celtic harp. It’s impossible to keep your foot from tapping or to maintain a crabby face while listening. Which leads us to Irish dancing… it takes many forms such as step dancing and reels. Did I mention that Irish dancers have those amazing hard shoes that produce clicks as they dance? Finally, there is bread—beautiful and luscious bread. While the first bread of the Gaelic Irish was a plain rustic oatcake; during the Great Famine, soda bread became popular. It’s a cake style bread that doesn’t use yeast. It is quick and easy to make and delicious!

Irish Soda

Ingredients 4 1/4 cups flour 1 1/4 tsp. salt 1 tsp baking soda 2 Tbsp. sugar 5 Tbsp. butter 1 1/4 cup raisins 1 egg (beaten) 1 3/4 cups buttermilk Directions

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Mix flour, salt, baking soda and sugar together in a bowl. Using a pastry blender, work the butter into the flour, then add raisins. In a separate bowl, (using a fork or whisk) mix together the egg and buttermilk. Then add beaten egg and buttermilk to the flour mixture. Mix ingredients with a spoon until dough is thoroughly blended.


In the bowl, knead dough and form a ball; if the dough is too sticky to knead, work in a little more flour. However, do not over-knead the dough or it will become tough.

On a lightly floured surface shape dough into a round loaf. The dough should be a little sticky and resemble biscuit dough. Place dough on a lightly greased baking sheet and cut a cross onto the top about an inch and a half deep. It is important to score the top of the dough, so the heat gets into the center of the dough as it cooks. Sprinkle top of bread with flour and place in preheated oven, for about 40 minutes. Bake until bread is light brown. To check for doneness, insert a thin knife into the center. If the knife comes out clean, it's done.

This bread is best served warm; and will inspire your family and friends to quote Irish traditional sayings such as; "May the road rise to meet you, and the wind always be at your back and the rains fall softly on your fields. May God hold you gently in the palm of his hand.”



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What’s in a name? By Nevada Kramer & Sunshine Deveny Bigfork Liquor Barn

Whenever there is a joyous occasion - a wedding, graduation, new job, or New Year’s Eve - chances are there is a bottle of bubbly involved. The universal drink of celebration, Champagne, symbolizes all things congratulatory and light. However, the delight of true Champagne often comes with a premium price tag. What is Champagne really, and are there other options?

The terms “Champagne” and “sparkling wine” are often confused. Most people know that to be labeled “Champagne,” the wine must have been made in the Champagne region of France. The exceptions to the rule are several California Champagnes – think Cook’s, Korbel, André – due to a legal loophole with a very long history. The other requirement to be called Champagne is the wine must be produced under the strict standards of Méthode Champenoise. This entails making and bottling a dry, still, high-acid, and low alcohol wine, then causing a secondary fermentation in the bottle by adding yeast and sugar – this is where the bubbles come from! After aging (and becoming bubbly) for roughly 30 days, an elaborate procedure called riddling is used to collect the sediment (lees), leaving clear, sparkling wine in the bottle. Finally, Champagne must


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be bottle aged a minimum of fifteen months giving it a distinctly nutty taste profile. Just like using the name “Champagne,” producers outside of France’s Champagne region cannot legally label their wine as being made by the “Méthode Champenoise” (except for those qualifying for the loophole). Other terms must be used on these wine labels such as Méthode Traditionelle (meaning “Traditional Method”) and is usually in the respective language of the wine’s country of origin, however, the production method is the same-only the name differs. Many wines fall into this category, being made in the same fashion as true Champagne but bearing a different name.

Cremants are French sparkling wines made by the Méthode Traditionelle in other regions of France, which like Champagne, have strict production standards. Due to the rigorous standards for grape varietals and aging and generally lower relative prices, Cremants are excellent value sparkling wines. One can find

excellent bottles like Vitteaut-Alberti, Baumard, and Pierre Sparr in this broad category. Cava is Spain’s high quality, “método tradicional” (Traditional Method) sparkling wine. Despite being produced in a different country, Cava is very similar in taste-profile to true Champagne. The Spanish grapes Parellada, Macabeo and Xarel-lo are primarily used to make Cava; they create a lovely, dry, fruity and balanced sparkling wine. Popular labels you may recognize are Mas Fi, Freixenet and Cune (CVNE). Many “New World Sparklers” (American) are made by the Méthode Traditionelle, such as Mumm Napa, Gruet and Roederer Estate. Look for “Méthode Traditionelle” or “Traditional Method” to know that the bubbles got into the bottle by the same method as true Champagne.

A less expensive process to give sparkling wine its fizz is by the Charmat Method—now known more commonly as “Metodo Italiano”

Aperol Spritz

(all ingredients available at the Bigfork Liquor Barn)

Pour 2 oz of Prosecco (we recommend Adami $17.49) and 1.25 oz of Aperol over ice, add a splash of soda water (we recommend Fever Tree Club Soda) and garnish with an orange wedge.



(Italian Method). This method is used in the production of Italy’s famous sparkling wine, Prosecco. Here, the secondary fermentation takes place in a large stainless steel tank rather than in the bottle, making the sparkling wine much less expensive to produce, and therefore to consume! Prosecco is produced exclusively from the Glera grape, making for a light bodied, crisp, vibrantly fresh and highly aromatic wine. Prosecco is an ideal option for cocktails due to its relatively low price-point, and it is featured in classic cocktails like the Aperol Spritz (see recipe!) We recommend popping open a bottle of Sommariva, Adami or Lamarca for your next celebration!

AUSTRALIA WILDLIFE BENEFIT: Watch for a special display of Australian wines coming soon to the Bigfork Liquor Barn. Everyone is excited about their upcoming benefit for wildlife affected by the recent catastrophic wildfires in Australia. Throughout the coming months, they will be offering a selection of Australian made wines and 100% of the net proceeds from the sales will be donated to Australia’s wildlife rescue efforts. Follow their Facebook and Instagram pages for coming announcements.



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love} stories June 26th, 2021

Jamie Tyler


Photography by Jennifer Vernarsky

Who are you? Jamie is an ER nurse at Kalispell Regional and she is currently going to Baylor University online for graduate school to receive her Doctorate in Nursing to become a Family Nurse Practitioner. Tyler is a Physical Therapist in town and works at Whitefish Sports Therapy in Whitefish.

How did you meet?

Her View: I was watching my friend’s kids for the night when I get a text from my friend Deven saying, “I have a hottie for you, come to the golf course right now.” I said I was busy, so he continued to try to get me to come to the golf course and after about two hours of bantering. I finally agreed to come to the golf course to meet this so-called “hottie”. It was funny though, when I got there Tyler didn’t say a word. I thought it was the strangest thing, Deven begged me to come to meet this guy who didn’t even speak to me. Eventually, Tyler got my number and asked me on a few dates, but I was too happily single that I kept making excuses. Finally, after a few months, he asked me if I was going to keep making excuses or if I was going to go on a date with him. I agreed to go out with him, and he decided to cook me dinner. At first, I was impressed that he was going to cook, then we ate the food… it was not good. Although, that didn’t matter to me. I knew he was someone special after that first date.

His View: We met through mutual friends. I was having dinner at the Golf Course with two couples. They must have felt bad for me, as they each tried to think of one single friend that they could introduce me to. My friend Deven texted Jamie to come down to the golf course for dessert. She came over after she was done babysitting. She walked in and I was in shock that I was attracted to her right away. Nerves were evident, as I hardly said a word the rest of dinner. We eventually received each other’s number, and after she ignored me for several months, I cooked her a terrible meal and told some pathetic jokes that obviously won her over.


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The Proposal

Her View: I knew that it was coming because I knew he was having a ring made at McGough’s. He really threw me off though. He told me that he scheduled a hot air balloon ride on my Dad’s birthday which was in a week from the time he told me. However, that day we were spending time with his parents and mine. After a day of boating on Whitefish Lake, we were at my parent’s house having dinner. After dinner, he asked for a family photo, and after the photo, he got down on one knee and didn’t speak for about 30 seconds. After he got his words out, he asked me to be his best friend forever. It was the happiest moment of my life. I loved that he asked me in front of our parents because nothing means more to us than family. His View: After several botched attempts at an elaborate proposal at Glacier Park and Whitefish Lake, I decided to keep it simple. I told a white lie that I booked a hot air balloon ride with her parents on

her father’s birthday. Meanwhile, my parents were in town and we were having dinner at Jamie’s parents house. As everyone was saying goodbye, I gathered everyone for a picture and decided to drop down and ask for her hand in marriage. I don’t remember what I said, but I am pretty sure she said, “Yes”.

What is love?

Jamie: Love isn’t something that can be taught or learned, love is something that you feel with every fiber in your being. Love is shown through actions and words. Tyler shows me love every day by the way he treats me and cares for me. It’s the simple things that show me most how much he cares. For example, he always does the dishes, he always opens doors for me, shovels the snow so I don’t have to walk through it, and is I am down or stressed out, he always does whatever he can to cheer me up or help me out. Being in love lights a fire in your soul that I never knew existed.

love} stories

love isn’t something that can be taught or learned, love is something that you feel with every fiber in your being.

Tyler: For me, love is not an expression or a feeling. It’s the actions, large or small, that show appreciation for the mutual actions by another. When you love someone, you want to give more than you take.

What do you love most about each other?

Jamie: Tyler is the most caring, kind, and generous person I have ever met. He will do anything for his friends and family and that makes me love him so much more. I also love how goofy he can be. There are nights that we spend just dancing around our kitchen and laughing while making dinner. I love how he brings out the best in me and encourages me to concur my dreams. Tyler: I love how selfless Jamie is. She has lofty personal goals in life. She is a great nurse and will be an amazing nurse practitioner. However, she cares more about her family and me than her own personal goals.

When did you know you were in love?

Jamie: I remember telling my sister that I was going to marry this man after we had only been dating for four months. She was in shock because I had never said that about anyone or even come close to feeling that for anyone else. I knew I would marry Tyler because we bring the best out in each other, we have similar life goals, and I can’t imagine my life without him. It’s funny, before Tyler and I started dating, I was living alone in Whitefish and loving being single. Focusing on my life goals and just living life for me. Since we have been together, I have gone from being happily alone to not being able to imagine my life without Ty by my side.

Tyler: I knew I was in love with Jamie when I saw we were pulling the rope in the same direction for every aspect of life. I liked being alone in my life, but now I hate being alone. I love every minute I spend with Jamie.



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201 Central ave. whitefish Montana 59937 - 406.862.3200



love} stories

October 5th, 2019

Hailey Joplin


Photography by Kelly Kirksey Photography Location Mountainside Weddings

Who are you? Joplin DuBose: I am from a small farming community outside of Chico, CA. After high school I decided to stay local and attend Chico State University, where I was involved in a fraternity, which consumed most of my time. I graduated with a business degree and live in Whitefish with my wife and dog. I enjoy spending my free time fishing, hunting, and cooking for my wife, Hailey.

Hailey DuBose: I grew up in the small rural town of Hickman, California until I set off to college when I was 18. I attended what is known as the party school of California, Chico State University. After getting that out of my system, I moved to the serene Gallatin Valley and attended Montana State University. I graduated in Spring of 2019 with a degree in Elementary Education. I currently teach second grade in Whitefish, Montana.

How did you meet?

His View: Hailey and I met in our freshman English night class at Chico State. We lived in the same building on campus, and I would often walk with her back to the dorms. I invited Hailey to my fraternity house for a Friday night party, where we ended up dancing and creating great memories.

Her View: Joplin and I had our freshman writing course together. I noticed that he was wearing an Alpha Gamma Rho sweatshirt which meant that he knew how to swing dance. Growing up, my dad and I would swing dance. Joplin and I then noticed that we would walk the same path home after class. Through awkward small talk, I got invited to a fraternity event. Joplin and I danced that night away!


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How We Started Dating

His View: After a couple of years of friendship, Hailey moved to Montana with her family. The first few months she was away, we didn’t talk much but that didn’t last long. We started talking again more and more and I decided to take a few road trips to Montana. It didn’t take long for us to rekindle our love for one another. We started dating in May 2017 and were in a long-distance relationship until I decided to join her in Bozeman a few months later. We dated a little over a year, until I asked Hailey to marry me. Her View: Joplin and I were friends our freshman and sophomore year at Chico State. We had a few awkward dates, but we just remained good friends. It wasn’t until I moved to Montana that I realized that he wasn’t only a friend, but someone I was in love with. In November 2016, I called Joplin and confessed my love. He started to come visit me within the early months of 2017.

We did long distance over the summer and in August, Joplin packed up his things and moved to Bozeman.

The Proposal?

His View: I had the ring for a couple of months and was planning the proposal. I decided to do something intimate and outside in the nice weather of the summer. Hailey was under the impression that we were taking pictures by the lake. I walked her to the end of the dock and that’s where I took a knee and asked her to marry me. I was so nervous that I forgot the “speech” I had prepared. She said “yes” and we started to celebrate!

Her View: We were in Kalispell visiting my parents one weekend in September 2018. The whole family came together to take family pictures. During our family pictures, Joplin proposed. We were on the dock of Whitefish City Beach.

love} stories


I believe is finding somebody that you know you couldn’t live without. Being in love is about finding that person that makes your days fulfilled and full of life.



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love} stories


I that Joplin is a trustworthy leader and a good listener. I know that Joplin has always had the best intentions for me and for our future family. What is love?

His View: I believe love is finding somebody that you know you couldn’t live without. Being in love is about finding that person that makes your days fulfilled and full of life. Love is also about supporting each other through anything to come. It’s important to celebrate your successes together and just as important to accept your failures and work through them together. Her View: To me love is sharing your life with the person that makes you feel complete. Joplin fills my days with all things I cannot live without.

What do you love most about each other?

Joplin: I love that Hailey has always had a huge heart and cares deeply about everybody. She has always gone above and beyond to be there for me and our relationship. Her love and kindness carry over into her everyday life including teaching, friendships, and home life. I love that we can support each other through anything and that I can count on Hailey to always be by my side.

Hailey: I love that Joplin is a trustworthy leader and a good listener. I know that Joplin has always had the best intentions for me and for our future family. He provides me comfort knowing that his priorities will always be our family. Even when


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we were just friends, he often reminded me of my potential. He has always been the person I go to for advice and comfort.

When did you know you were in love?

Joplin: I knew I was in love with Hailey when we started talking after she went away to school in Montana. We had such great times and knew we had something special. While she was away, I think we grew stronger as young adults and it made us realize that we were meant to be together. Being in a long distance relationship was very hard on us but it wasn’t anything that our love couldn’t overcome. Hailey: I knew I was in love a few months after my move to Montana. The first few months of the move I was focused on discovering my new home. As days went on, I realized I was missing a big part. When Joplin moved to Montana it was an instant relief. I had that piece with me to now continue my search of what this new state had, not only for me, but for us.

Wedding Details

We had the Flathead Valley dream team! Kelly Kirskey was the first vendor we booked. It was the best start to the wedding planning. Kelly was there through the entire wedding planning process. She suggested vendors, provided us a

timeline of when things need to be completed, and of course showed us how to have fun and embrace the craziness of wedding planning. Kelly is also laid back and easy going which made it easier to be vulnerable in our engagement and wedding photos. Kelly walked us through both shoots and made it enjoyable. We knew most of our guests would be traveling from California, so we wanted to give them the full Montana experience. To us that meant, seclusion surrounded by pure nature. Mountainside Weddings in Whitefish, MT was just what we wanted. The owners are so personable and genuine.

Lynn and Capella at Empress Rentals and Events planned and designed our wedding theme. Joyce at Conrad floral did an outstanding job. Our desserts were made by Delectable Delights and dinner was prepared by Vista Linda. The men’s suits were from Mimi’s Bridal and the bridal gown was from J. Scott Couture. Soucie Souice did a fabulous job making the ladies feel beautiful!


We will be heading to Puerto Vallarta in March! We figured that by that time we will be ready to leave the Montana cold and catch some sun rays. We will be spending six nights there stuffing ourselves with tacos and margaritas! Cheers-

James Corwin: Big Mountain

Last Chair by: Jordan Porter

Evening Road To Big Mountain by: Wanda Mumm

Chair 31 by: Jordan Porter

Blanket Of Snow by: Wanda Mumm

A Winter Celebration In Art

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406 Woman Vol. 12 No. 5 Business  

406 Woman Vol. 12 No. 5 Business

406 Woman Vol. 12 No. 5 Business  

406 Woman Vol. 12 No. 5 Business

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